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What is Vector Conversion

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Vector conversion stands for conversion of a raster/ bitmap file into a vector image. To elaborate, Vector and Raster are two types of images.

What is a Raster Image?

Meaning: A raster image is made up of a grid of tiny squares, better known as pixels. The content in a rasterimage is depicted byfittingly colored pixels. When scaled up beyond a point, a raster image looks blurry, better termed as “pixelated”.

Applications/ Software: Raster image files are created when you click a photograph using a camera or scan a drawing or create an image using a raster-based application/ software like Paintbrush or Adobe Photoshop.

File formats: The various file formats that usually contain raster images include JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PDF,GIF, BMP, IMG, CALS and PCX.

What is a Vector Image?

Meaning: Vector images are made up of vectors and not pixels. Vectors are described using mathematical expressions such as lines, points, arcs, polygons and other geometric shapes. Being composed of mathematically defined geometric entities, vector images can be scaled up without going “pixelated” or “blocky”, unlike the raster or bitmap images.

Applications/Software: Vector graphics are produced by vector-based software/ applications such as CAD programs, CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator.

File formats: The various file formats that represent vector images include DWG, AI, ESP, CDR, EMF, DXF, DGN, SVG, WMF, HPGL and PDF. A PDF file can contain both vector and raster images.

How to vectorize an image?

In order to vectorize a raster image, it must be redrawn in vector format. This can be done either by manual tracing on vector-based software (like CAD program or Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator) or using a raster to vector conversion software for fully automated tracing, or using both in combination. The choice of method to convert an image file into vector format depends upon what would produce the best quality vector image for the best price possible. While vector conversion software tends to produce fast and economical results, it may not produce quality results each time. The imperfections of a low quality image file often get translated in to the vector format. In other words, manual manipulation is more or less needed while converting a raster to vector.

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