Difference Between Vector Image and Raster Image

In this post, we will learn about difference between vector image and raster image. We will learn how to choose between vector and raster image for your application – android, iOS, Web etc.

Vector Image

As per Wikipedia,
Vector graphics are computer graphics images that are defined in terms of points on a Cartesian plane, which are connected by lines and curves to form polygons and other shapes.

In loose terms,
Vector graphics are digital art that is rendered by computer using mathematical formula.

Vector graphics are also known as scalable vector graphics. It consists of anchored dots that are connected by lines and curves, that usages mathematical formula to decide how these dots and curves are connected. Also, what color should be used to connect these dots and curve.

Raster Image

As per Wikipedia,
a raster graphic is a dot matrix data structure that represents a generally rectangular grid of pixels (points of color), viewable via a computer display, paper, or other display medium. Raster images are stored in image files with varying dissemination, production, generation, and acquisition formats.

In loose terms,
Raster images are made up of tiny pixels, that are resolution dependent.

Raster graphics, also known as bitmaps, are composed of color pixels. A pixel is smallest single element in display device. So, multiple pixels when combined together in a pattern creates an image, i.e. raster image.

Difference between Vector and Raster Image

We have seen definition of vector and raster image. Now, we will see difference between Raster and Vector Image –

Type Vector Image Raster Image
Resolution Scalable, Pixel Independent Pixel Dependent
File Size Smaller Compared to Raster Larger compared to Vector
Usage They can be used for –

  • Fonts
  • Logos
  • Coin Designs
  • T – Shirts
  • Patches
  • Digital Printing e.g. Business cards, billboards
  • Lower thirds for video
  • 2D or 3D computer animation
They can be used for –

  • Photography
  • Print Material
File Formats File formats for vector images are –

  • EPS
  • SVG
  • AI
File formats for raster images are –

  • BMP
  • GIF
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • TIFF
  • JPEG
Software Vector based software  (e.g. Adobe Illustrator) Raster based software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop)

  • Digital Cameras
  • Scanned Images

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