-Digital Graphics: Task 2 and Task 3-
We live in a technologically versatile world that has seen evolution of almost all aspects of life in the recent decades. The most disruptive technology so far has been witnessed computing industry (Li 2015; Regan 2015). The industry has seen the emergence of devices and technologies that are used to in daily lives. As such, developers and innovator are navigating the trend with the aim of remaining afloat in the fast-changing world (Wood 2015). Accordingly, this post explores the evolution of technology has impacted the graphics and business industry.
When we talk of graphics, two aspects are central; graphic editors and image viewers (Nelson et al., 2008). These are the main programs that are used to process images. Graphic editors are used to create, manipulate, and save image in any of the following file formats vector, raster, and metafiles. Image viewers on the other hand are only limited to opening and viewing images, but cannot perform any operation that alters the content of the image. The graphic editors and viewers determine the graphic file formats. The file formats are distinguished by compression and the amount of color used (Starks 2015; Wood 2015).
Most graphic editors work on specific file type, while some can handle both file types. For instance, a quick review of the digital graphics market points that applications such Adobe Photoshop allows you to handle both raster and vector graphics interchangeably (Wood 2015). As a result, you may be able open a raster image and save it in vector image format respectively. Likewise Adobe Illustrator, although primarily meant to work with vector graphics, it has some raster graphics features such as outer glows and drop shadows. Such features available in these examples of Adobe applications have greatly contributed to advancement of digital graphics without much concern on whether it is raster-based or vector-based. As a result, graphic designers can concentrate on quality and creative aspects of graphics rather than interoperability in different platforms such as mobile, web, Bluetooth, tablets, and ordinary PCs among other deployment, storage, and transmission environments.
However, there is undisputed evolution of the graphics output media that has since revolutionize graphics industry posing businesses and graphics enthusiasts a great, but a worthy challenge. For instance, the emergence of touch-screen technology was not only solving output problems, but also offered input solutions (Wood 2015). As an input cum output interface, the technology greatly impacted graphics industry. Designers are looking at ways of utilizing the screen to create as well as view graphics. One notable invention that followed touch screens new digital pens. To solve note-talking needs of travelling business and graphic community, the digital enables one to create bitmaps that can also be exported as vector images. The images can also be exported to graphic editors such as Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for further processing. The same image could be send through Bluetooth technology (AOL Inc. 2015).
Another notable aspect of evolution is printing and computer technology. Previously, graphic designers relied on other professionals to process their products. There were typesetters, now they have disappeared. Currently, clients only present their problems to graphic designers and what follows is preprocessing. Modern printers are emerging that can even do 3D-printinting (digital printing). 3D printing, also referred to as digital printing, involves the creation of printable 3D designs. This technology draws a lot from digital graphics hence the technology has also influenced graphics industry. Graphic designers are riding on this development, particularly the vector-based graphics that can be enlarged and printed in any size without losing detail and quality of the image (3ders.org 2015; Evans 2015).
Talking about evolution of computer technology without mentioning the role of the Internet is an incomplete statement. Therefore, let’s put it this way, the sophistication of the Internet has also greatly impacted on the graphics industry. The internet is both the destination (online businesses) and the source of digital graphics (downloading of images) (Wood 2015). The latter has bred copyright infringements where amateurs or even professionals are downloading images, for instance from Google Images, do a few tweaking for their clip art needs. This was not the case before; graphic designers did a lot to come up with simple graphics such as logos. However, this comes with some positives, with the Internet connection, any form of image you ever imagined, whether raster or vector graphic, is a search away from you. Could this be breeding creative stagnation? This is a question of full research.
Further Adobe, a software company, has really contributed a lot in impacting the graphics design industry (Wood 2015). There are several Adobe products that allow graphic designers to manipulate almost anything ranging from simple fonts to even videos, animations, and images. The software suites are extremely user-friendly hence users without any advanced training can work and experiment on their products. Examples of Adobe application suites that have impacted digital graphics include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign,, and Lightroom among other applications that can be used to perform several graphic designs and saving the images in formats that can be opened on various platforms (Adobe Systems Inc. 2015). This is slowly eliminating the need for hiring designers in the graphics production chain (Regan 2015).
Computer graphics are classified into two major categories; raster-based and vector-based graphics. Many at times we come across different graphics serving different purposes, for instance company logos, graffiti, movies, photographs, texts, and even printings among other images. Notably, the choice of graphics used for these purposes may vary depending on the goals and media for storing or processing the images (Starks 2015). The graphic files are usually created and saved in various graphic editors supporting various file formats. Examples of such editors include Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, and Macromedia Freehand. It should also be noted that some graphic editors work only with specific graphic type. For instance Freehand generate only vector graphics same to MS Paint that works only with raster/bitmap graphics. However, some applications such as Photoshop work with both categories of graphics (Wood 2015).
Raster graphics also known as bitmaps are generated from millions of pixels combined to form an image. Pixels are very tiny square boxes that when combined collectively form an image (Wood 2015). Such dots usually carry image information such as color in form of hue and shades. A good example of raster graphic is a photograph. A raster image can be identified through a close observation. When a raster image is zoomed, one can actually see the outline of individual pixels. However, when raster images are sized up, the quality and details of the image become compromised and blurred since every raster image is made of a fixed number of pixels (see fig 1). Therefore, zooming raster images comprises the resolution of the image. In summary, the quality of raster graphics is limited to specific resolution. There are a number of standard raster/bitmaps graphics file formats including Joint Photographic Experts Group (.jpg/.jpeg), Windows Bitmap (.bmp), Tagged Image File Format (.tiff) (Wood 2015).
On the other hand, unlike raster graphics that combine dots to form an image, vector graphics are defined by mathematical formulas implemented through line and curves, and other polygonal primitives (see table 1). The paths generated by lines & curves are assigned colors values, positions, and lengths among other perimeters. As a result, a vector file only stores image’s mathematical formula that can be converted by appropriate applications to form an image. This makes vector images smaller as compared to their raster counterparts (Wood 2015). Most importantly, vector images are not resolution-specific thus can be sized up without losing the image details and quality. This is the graphics program computes image mathematically as is gets enlarged. Therefore, a vector image can be identified by closely observing the edges of an enlarged image; vector images appear smooth at any zoom size (see figure 2). Vector graphics can be stored in the following file formats; PDF (Portable Document Format), EPS (Encapsulated PostScript), PSD (native Adobe Photoshop), and AI (native Adobe Illustrator) (Starks 2015).
Figure 1. A raster image. The image demonstrates how resolution of a raster image gets distorted when zoomed; also individual pixels can be seen from the enlargement (source: The Printing Connection n.d.).
Figure 2. A vector image. The image quality is maintained even with enlargement (source: The Printing Connection n.d.).
Comparison Between Raster-based and Vector-based Graphic.
|Vector Files||Raster Files|
|Made of mathematical formulas||Made of pixels|
|Are infinitely scalable. Can be enlarged and printed at any size||Becomes blurry when enlarged due to fixed number of pixels|
|Smaller file size, only mathematical formula stored||large file size, stores pixels making up the image|
|Editable-can manipulate individual elements in an image||Files such .png and .jpg are not editable without other elements of the image|
|Limited in details. Details are determined by mathematical formulas||Rich in detail; can be enhanced by the dots per inch (dpi). Pixels also carry its own hue or shade|
|Less rich in effects. The paths used to generate vector images cannot handle certain styling effects||Can support many styling effects such as drop shadow, etc.|
|Easy conversion to raster||Time consuming to covert to vector|
List of References
3ders.org. 2013. 3D Printing Basics. [online] Available at <http://www.3ders.org/3d- printing-basics.html> <Accessed November 28, 2015>.
Adobe Systems Inc. 2015. Adobe Digital Publishing Solution. [online] Available at < https://www.adobe.com/products/digital-publishing-solution.html?promoid=KLXMC#> <accessed November 28 2015?>.
AOL Inc. 2015. Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen Hands-On. [online] Available at <http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/12/wacom-inkling-digital-sketch-pen-hands-on- video/> <Accessed November 28, 2015>.
Evans, B. 2012. Practical 3D printers. New York: Apress.
Li, P. 2015. Disruptive innovation in Chinese and Indian businesses : the strategic implications for local entrepreneurs and global incumbents. London New York: Routledge.
Nelson, B., Philips, A., Enfinger, F., & Steuart, C. 2008. Guide to Computer Forensics and Investigations. 3rd ed. Course Technology: Massachusetts.
The Printing Connection. n.d. Raster Images vs. Vector Graphics. [online] Available at: <http://www.printcnx.com/resources-and-support/addiational-resources/raster-images-vs- vector-graphics/> <Accessed November 28, 2015>.
Regan, G. 2015. Pillars of Computing: A Compendium of Select, Pivotal Technology Firms. Cham: Springer.
Starks, J. 2015. Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Wood, A. (2015). The Graphic Designer’s Digital Toolkit. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.