Join Mark Abdelnour for an in-depth discussion in this video Vector vs. rasters/bitmaps, part of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 Essential Training.
- In this video, we're going to look at the differences between Vector graphics and Bitmap graphics. Those are two very important graphic formats that you'll see quite a bit of in the CorelDRAW X3 Suite of applications. Let's first start at defining what each of them are and then, from there, look at the advantages and disadvantages of each. You'll, first of all, notice that I'm on Page 4 of the actual main exercise file that's located in the root of the exercise file's folder.
So, if you have access to them, that's where you'll find it. And it's named, DRAWx3_Main.cdr So, let's start first by defining what a Bitmap is. You can see it here, on the right side of the page. It's a photograph and it's rectangular in shape. A Bitmap is a collection of pixels or dots laid out in a rectangular grid. Each one of those pixels represents a color and when you take a picture with your digital camera, what you're creating is a Bitmap graphic or image.
On the left side of the screen, you'll see a Vector object or graphic. Now, a Vector graphic, quite contrary to Bitmaps, is not made up of pixels but actually lines and nodes and curves. They're actually laid out and calculated mathematically. So you really have a big difference there between Vectors and Bitmaps. One being pixels laid out versus lines and drawings, almost illustrations, that are mathematically calculated. So, now that we have an idea of the definition of each, let's talk a little bit about how they differ and moreover, what are some of the benefits and disadvantages of each.
Let's start with Bitmaps. I'm gonna zoom right in, really close on a Bitmap, so you can see what pixels actually look like. 'Cause right now, this photograph looks pretty good, but you'll see when I click on the Zoom tool, here in the Toolbox, and move back to my graphic, I'm just gonna zoom in, and as I zoom in by clicking and dragging, you can see all those squares. Let's see if I can zoom in a little tighter. And there, now you can really see all the pixels that make up this photograph. Each of those pixels, as I mentioned earlier, representing a color.
I'm going to press F4 so we come back out to full screen, and let's talk a little bit about those pixels. So now, if I were to take a picture with my digital camera, at a 4 x 6 size, and then decide later that I wished I had it at a larger size, let's say 8 x 10. I took that picture to a photo shop where they made it bigger for me. What would most likely happen is that it'd be pixelated or blurry. The reason is that Bitmaps are notoriously unscalable. You can't really resize a Bitmap and get the same quality of image in doing so.
The reason for that is, by stretching a Bitmap, what you're doing is actually stretching the pixels, creating jaggedy edges and gaps and you're just creating all sorts of problems within the Bitmap itself, when it wasn't really designed to be built or designed or taken at that size, so 8 x 10 as an example. The same in reverse, if I were to actually make the Bitmap smaller. I mean a lot of people might think that by making a Bitmap smaller, you shouldn't have the same issue, but actually you do 'cause now you're cramming the pixels closer together.
Some of the pixels will actually fall out and then you'll have some more problems there within that photograph or Bitmap. So, really it's not a very scalable file format. As well, over and above the scalability sizing it, you also have to look at file size. When you actually size Bitmaps or work with Bitmaps, they're notoriously large files, so they leave a pretty big footprint on your computer. So that's another disadvantage of Bitmaps. As well, with Bitmaps, if you wanted to edit it, that's a whole other story. And what I mean by edit, I mean manipulate or retouch a photograph.
Using this one as an example, if I wanted to move this lamp in this photograph, that would be very difficult to do. If I click on my Pick Tool, and move to my image and try and click on that lamp, you'll notice what happens when I do that. It moves the whole rectangular grid. If I wanted to really retouch and modify this Bitmap, I would need a photo-editing software, and I'd have to mask the object and then do all sorts of steps to move that out of the image, and it can get fairly complex to do something like that.
Now, CorelDRAW X3 has built-in Bitmap Editing functionality but you also can use Corel Photo-Paint, which is in the suite of applications, to do all your retouching and modification of Bitmaps. So, that's Bitmaps in a quick summary. Let's talk a little bit about Vector graphics now. I'm gonna zoom in very close to this Vector object. Let's see if we can see pixels. I think you're getting a good idea of where I'm going with this. By zooming in as close as we have, you'll notice that there aren't any pixels at all, because Vectors aren't made up of pixels or dots but rather lines, curves and nodes, and no matter how close I get, I'm not gonna have any degradation in quality.
It's always gonna look just as good as it did originally. I'm gonna click on, or press F4 on the keyboard, and that takes us back out to full page. And let's look at resizing a Vector object, just like we did the Bitmap, and just to give you an idea of, if there's any pixelation that occurs there. I think the best way to do that is by zooming out. So, to zoom out, I'm gonna press F3 on the keyboard. As I zoom out, you'll see the page getting smaller, and now, what I'm gonna do is just click and drag one of the corner handles.
And that's grabbing the horseshoe and making it, as you can see here, over 3000% bigger. And you'll also notice that there's no loss in quality. And if I zoom in close, same idea. You're not seeing pixelation, you're not seeing any dots, it's just as crisp and clean as it was at its original size. Let's press F4 on the keyboard to bring us back to full page. And I'm gonna press Ctrl Z to undo the sizing of the horseshoe.
Press F4 once more, and now we're back to full page. So, another advantage of working with Vector objects, is its ability to be edited. You saw, with Bitmaps, that you would have to take it into a photo-editing software or you'd have to mask pixels in order to modify or edit or change the Bitmap object. With Vectors, it's a lot easier. For example, if I wanted to change this green shadow on this horseshoe, or remove some of these lines here, in the horseshoe, by simply selecting the object, moving to my Property bar, I can click on this tool here, called Ungrouping, or feature called Ungrouping.
Click off my image, and now let's just click on the background. If I click and drag, you'll see that it's a separate object, and now I can modify it any way I wanted to. So, Ungrouping Objects is definitely an advantage of a Vector graphic format, and it's not something you can do with Bitmaps. So, that should give you a really good idea of the differences between Vectors and Bitmap objects. How does that all relate to CorelDRAW and the suite of applications within? Well, I can tell you right now that CorelDRAW X3 is primarily a Vector-based application.
It's an application where you do Design work, Desktop Publishing, Illustrations, and you'll be more working with lines and curves and objects like that. As I mentioned earlier, you can do Bitmap-editing within CorelDRAW, but you'd most likely use Corel Photo-Paint, which is in the suite of applications, to do all your photo editing. So, this concludes this video on looking at the differences between Vectors and Bitmaps in the CorelDRAW Suite of projects, and that also closes off this section of the video series. We're now going to move into the next section of the video, where we get started in CorelDRAW.
We're really gonna jump right in and we're gonna look at the User Interface. We're also gonna look at the Welcome screen and creating drawings.