Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Vector vs. bitmap images, part of CorelDRAW X4 Essential Training.
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Before we go any further in this title, I think now is a good time to talk about vector and bitmap images. CorelDRAW X4 is primarily a vector based graphics application. Meaning, when you start creating objects on your page, they will be vector graphics. When you take your digital camera and take a photo, you are creating a bitmap image. While in CorelDRAW, we can work with both types of images, but they are different, they behave differently and there are advantages to each, so that is what we're going to talk about in this lesson.
We are going to continue to use the same file from the previous lesson called IntroFileX4, it's a cdr file, CorelDraw file in the Lesson1 folder of your exercise file. So if you have got them, and you want to follow along and it's not already open, go ahead and open it up. The only difference you will see is that, in the last lesson, we changed our Welcome text here to a shade of Cyan. Really doesn't matter, because we're going to Page 2. On Page 2, you are going to see examples of a bitmap image, on the right and a vector image on the left.
So now let us just talk about the differences between these two. Starting with our bitmap over here on the right hand side. This is clearly a photograph taken with a digital camera. A bitmap image is an image made up of little pixels, little squares, each one of those has its own color and when you put them all together, you end up with this image. Now we do not see those squares when we're zoomed out to a certain level. So when you take a picture with your digital camera, and you get it developed, you do not see the squares. You will have to look really, really closely with a magnifying glass or something more powerful to see those pixels.
However, if you were to try and blow up that image into a poster size, you might start to see the little squares that make up the image, those pixels and it becomes a little bit blurry or pixelated, and we're going to see that by zooming into our bitmap. So I'm going go over here to my tool Box and click on the Zoom tool. I'm going to click and drag over an area of the forest here and when I let go, you can see how it's starting to get a little bit blurry or out of focus. Pixelated is the correct term, and you can actually see little squares that make up the image.
If we zoom in even further, and it becomes very clear that these are little squares, different shades of green in this case, that make up the image. That's why if I have to blow this up to a poster, I might start to see some of these squares. So scalability is not an advantage with a bitmap image. Same thing for sizing, if I have to size it up or down, I'm going to loose pixels or insert pixels to create the image and then the quality of the photo starts to deteriorate. I'm going to hold down shift and press F4 to zoom out to the full page view that we were at a minute ago, and I'm going to zoom in now to my vector graphic.
Vector graphics are not made up of pixels. I'm going to zoom into this corner here. Vector graphics are made up of lines and curves and nodes and there are mathematical calculations that go into the creation of these graphics. So you can see when I zoom in, that corner stays nice and round and it's not jagged. There is no pixelation. What if I zoom in even further? Look at that nice and smooth. Again, a nice straight line and that's because there are no pixels in a vector graphic.
Shift+F4 on the keyboard zooms us back out, and that is the big difference between these two. Now when you are creating in CorelDRAW, you are going to be creating vector images. Even though you can bring bitmap images in and even edit them here in CorelDRAW, typically if you wanted to make changes to your graphic, and it is bitmap image, you are going to need some kind of photo editing software. I'm going to click on my Pick tool, and I'm going to click right here on this bitmap. Now right away you will see an option appear on the Property Bar, Edit Bitmap, and there are some bitmap editing tools built into CorelDRAW.
If you really have to get technical with your image, you probably take it into something like Corel Photo-Paint or even another application like PhotoShop. Let us say, I want to make a change. I want to edit just the grass. Make the grass a darker shade of green. Well, I can't actually just click on the grass. It is the entire image that gets selected. Bringing it into an image editing application like Photo-Paint, allows me to do things like masking and put the grass on a separate layer and change its color. All of that is time consuming and a little bit complex.
Whereas, if I want to make a change to a vector image, that's different. Over here when I click on my vector image, you can see that this is actually an image, an object, made up of four separate objects. Notice down below on my Status Bar. Group of four objects on layer two. So I have a green rectangle with rounded corners. I have got a black rectangle with squared corners, and I have got two different text objects. So what if I want to just make the green rectangle a different color? Well, I can select, just the green rectangle after, I ungroup these four objects, and I do that with its selected by going up to the Property Bar.
There is an ungroup button here, Cltr+U on the keyboard is the shortcut, and now that means when I click off of the object and just click on the green rectangle, it's all that selected. Look down below, rectangle on layer two. There is the color over there. Green on the inside. Black on the outside. So if I want to change that to red. I will come over to my color palette. I will click on red, and that's all there is to it. The portion of the image is easily editable, whereas with a bitmap, it's not. I'm going to click undo, sets it back to green and I'm going to marquee select all four objects.
So I'm going go to come out here, click and drag and make sure that all four objects, that's all I want, inside that marquee, when I let go, that means they are all selected, four objects selected, it says so down here. Meaning, I can go up to this button on my Property Bar which is now turned into a group button, to group them all back together and now it's treated as one. Which means of course, If I scale this up by going to the sizing handle up here on the top left corner and clicking and dragging to make it bigger. You can see how big it's getting here.
I'm going to drag it up here as well. And now even zooming in, I haven't lost any of the quality, the sharpness, the clarity. Shift+F4, is going to take me back, and I'm going to have to size this back down. I'm going to click undo, couple of times to get it back to it's original size. Go back to my Pick tool and just click out here to deselect. So you should have a good understanding now, the differences between vector images and bitmap images.
Like I said, we can work with both of them here in CorelDRAW, but, when you need to get very technical with your bitmap editing, CorelDRAW is not the best application for making changes to a bitmap image. However, you do have Corel Photo-Paint that's included in the suite, and if you are an expert with Adobe PhotoShop for example, then that's where you probably want to start working with your bitmap images. So most of the work that we do in this title in CorelDRAW, will be with vector graphics. I think we're ready now to move on to creating new files, and we're going to do that in the next lesson, starting from scratch.
- Understanding vector and bitmap images
- Working with multi-page projects
- Using independent per-page layers and guides
- Drawing and editing shapes, lines, curves, and tables
- Creating and using symbols
- Working with text and WhatTheFont
- Converting vector objects to bitmap
- Shaping, filling, blending, and extruding objects
- Importing and exporting other file types
- Customizing the workspace, menus, toolbars, and palettes