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Welcome back to Scanning Fundamentals. In this section I'd like to talk to you a little bit about the difference between pixels and vectors, and one of the reasons for this is at the very beginning of your scanning process one of the decisions you want to make is, do I want my image to actually end up as a pixel or a Vector-based image? The reason why you make this decision early on is that how you scan your image, well in some case it would be very different if you're scanning for pixels or vectors. Now understanding the characteristics of pixels and vectors of course is critical to understanding how you are going to choose one or the other. Here up on screen you see two different versions of the same image.
On the left-hand side here you see in Photoshop a Pixel-based version of the image, on the right-side and I'll click over here to activate that we're now working in Illustrator, and this is a Vector-based version of the image. So as I go click back and forth here I am moving back and forth in Photoshop to Illustrator from Pixel to Vector-based image, and you'll notice that over in the left we have the Photoshop tools and over on the right side I have moved my toolbar for Illustrator. I have just set it up this way so you can see both applications and both versions of the image at the same time. First let's zoom in to the Photoshop or Pixel-based image and take a look at that edge and we take a look and we see that our edge is made up of this stair-step of pixels.
Not a bad looking edge and I am going to show you how to scan lighter on images, you get a good-looking edge like that. Now let's pop over to Illustrator when I click over on this side and I am going to do the same thing I am going to zoom in on this edge and look at the difference between these two. When you zoom in on an Illustrator image no matter how much you zoom in, and notice if you look at down in the lower left-hand corner here in its 6400%, I notice how very, very sharp that edge is, because this a Vector-based edge. Instead of being made up of building blocks what I call Pixel Bricks like the Pixel-based image in Photoshop is, and a Vector-based image instead of being built up like that you instead have these paths connecting one point and another, so no matter how much you zoom in you're still going to get that nice hard edge and this is called a Resolution-Independent Edge.
That is, the resolution of this edge is not defined in the actual image it's determined when you actually output it. Whereas in Photoshop the pixels are a specific size and the resolution of the image is determined by the size of the pixels, and in this case if we go into the Image Size dialog box we see this is a 600 pixel per inch image, so each of these pixels is one-600th of an inch on the side, this is a resolution-dependent image. The reason why it's important to know this is that some images are really, really good in capturing, in editing as vectors, whereas others really require pixels and we're going to move into more that discussion in the next section.
Right now I just want to kind of cover the difference between pixels and vectors. So you can see Vector-based images are very, very sharp whereas Pixel-based images are kind of stair- step, or you might think, oh! I always want vectors, hold your guns. In the next video we're going to talk about the difference between those two types and how we would match them up with various kinds of images, but first watch this. Let me show you one of the differences between pixels and vectors. I am going to do a selection here, like this, and I am going to do a transform and I am going to take this image, I am going to scale it down and I am going to deform it as you can see here, and then I am going to take this and I am going to rotate this image.
And then I am going to deselect that and I am going to zoom back in on this edge. Remember that nice, beautiful, stair- stepped edge we saw where everything was kind of nice and even, notice how that edge is starting to break up and fall apart. That's due to interpolation more on interpolation later. This is what happens when you scale, skew or rotate or apply any kind of dimensional change to your image if it's a Pixel-based image. The edge quality is going to degrade. Now let's pop over here to Illustrator and do the same thing, let's scale this puppy down and distort it and then we'll actually rotate it as well, no matter what we do, how many times, in what ways we do this, I am going to click and now I am going to zoom back in on that edge, look at that.
It's just as sweet as it was to begin with. With a resolution-independent edge it's made up of vectors, remember there is no resolution to actually output the image. So there is a difference between those two images, pixels versus vectors. In the next section we're going to talk about which kinds of images you'd like to use for vectors and which kinds you'd like to use for pixels.
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