What’s the difference between a bitmap graphic and a vector?

What’s the difference between a bitmap graphic and a vector?


As I zoom into this image in Adobe Photoshop
you’ll start to see that even though it’s an image of a Llama, when I get close enough
you’ll see it’s technically made from small squares of differing colours, known as pixels.
When someone refers to a bitmap or raster image, they mean any image that’s made of
pixels. So photographic images like this are bitmap images. If you’ve been given a file
which is a .jpg or .tiff or .gif or .png, it’s a bitmap, so made of pixels. This trianglular logo, which I’m looking at
in Adobe Illustrator is different. It doesn’t use pixels, but simply consists of 3 so-called
anchor points, which define the shape mathematically. You’ll notice that this is much simpler, and
makes it perfect for things like logos which require very few colours and require crisply
defined edges. The reason why vector graphics are crisper is because with bitmap images,
pixels get larger as images get larger, making the pixels more noticable. This does not happen
with vector graphics as they don’t contain pixels. Images such as .eps and .ai files
are vector images.

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