Vector vs. Raster

A TechPinas reader just sent us an email asking, "What is the different between Vector and Raster images?"

OK, we could go all Techie with you on this, but nah, we'll just tell it straight:
A Raster image is an image that loses quality (or crisp) when you re-size it and a vector image doesn't.

This is so because Raster images are made up of fixed number of pixels while Vector images are made up of numbers. Let's discuss Raster first, the simplest way we can:

Imagine a bowlful of Coco Crunch. Each Coco-flake represents a Pixel and the bowl, the image. Since all flakes are in the bowl, everything looks packed, right? Now, imagine scattering the Coco-flakes (don't eat any) all over a table, doing your best to cover it entirely -- so the table now becomes the new image. From being packed in a bowl, the flakes are now widely spaced  (unless you have bowl bigger than the table, haha). This is exactly what happens when you re-size a raster image.

What about vector? What happens when you resize it?

Imagine a magical bowl filled with Coco Crunch -- that keeps replenishing itself. Like, for every spoonful out, it takes a spoonful in. Right! Multiplying flakes! Vector images are like that ~ only they don't rely on magic, they use Math.

If this is the case, are raster images any good? Why keep them?

Apparently, the ability not to lose crisp when being re-sized is not everything. For one, most photographs won't even look clear in vector format since pixels are needed to render fine details and continuous mixed tones effectively.

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