Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Vector vs. bitmap graphics, part of OpenOffice.org 2 Draw Getting Started.
In this first chapter we are going to cover many of the fundamentals of working with an application like OpenOffice Draw. We will be launching the application, touring the user interface to get you comfortable in your surroundings. We will be creating new files, opening existing files, looking at saving techniques but before we get to any of that in this chapter, it's important that we understand what we would use OpenOffice Draw for. What are some of the types of projects we will be creating with an application like OpenOffice Draw? And to better understand that you will need a good handle on the difference between a vector and a bitmap image, because OpenOffice Draw is primarily a vector based drawing application. Meaning when you create your own drawings or illustrations they will be vector based in nature to start with. You can save to other formats and most of those other formats are what we would call bitmap or raster images. So here you can see I have actually opened up a file in OpenOffice Draw and on the left side I have got an example of a vector graphic and on the right side a bitmap. Now you probably recognize the bitmap type graphic as a photo, an image you might take with a digital camera for example. Here are some of the characteristics. First of all it's rectangular in nature and it always will be, even if there are transparent areas in an image, it will be rectangular in nature because an image that is a bitmap image is made up of tiny little squares, they are known as pixels. And some times when you zoom too far into an image or you get an image of low resolution, you will see those pixels will start to blur and you can see the little squares which each other own color when put together make up this rectangular image known in this case as a photograph. Over here on the left is some thing that was created using OpenOffice Draw and this is a vector based graphic. So we don't have pixels with a vector graphic. Instead we have lines and curves and mathematical calculations that determine their shape and size and so on. So the very big difference is when we zoom into each of these types of graphics I am going to do that right now by going to the zoom tool and clicking my little plus sign. I am going to zoom into my sun over here. And I am going to just click and drag a tiny little square, so I can zoom into this area. And you can see the yellow is a solid yellow, the black is solid, very smooth line, the only jag in this you are going to see is as a result of your own screen resolution and my resolution, same thing over here. I am going to zoom back out. And I am going to zoom into my bitmap image now. So back I go to the little plus sign here. I am going to zoom in to an area here at the whale's tail, very small square and look at all the little squares, it is very blurry to start and it's a bunch of little pixels that are creating the overall image. So you can see that once we zoom in, we lose a lot of the quality in this image whereas we didn't with a vector graphic because it was created using lines and curves and mathematical equations. I am going to zoom back out. So here we can see both images side by side. This image doesn't look too bad when zoomed out, but what if I want to make some adjustments, what if I want to move this whale tail here. I can click it because each of the images inside the overall image is a separate graphic on its own, graphical in nature and in this case a vector graphic. So I can move it around if I wanted to, up, down, left and right just by clicking and dragging it. If I wanted to do that with a bitmap image, no way, it's one big image. If I really needed to move this whale tail it would require a lot of work in a photo editing type application like Photoshop, for example where I need to use masking techniques, it will be very difficult with all of this spray to select the tail and move it and fill in the gaps, because it's pixels making up a bigger picture, very difficult to edit. We can do things to improve the image, the quality and special effects. I am going to talk about some of that in this lesson, but with a vector graphic it's so much easier. So although OpenOffice Draw is primarily a vector based drawing application and that's the type of graphics we'll be creating we can also bring in bitmap images like I have here, combine them in our projects for example if we are creating a sign where we want to have an image inside the sign no problem. We can even do some image editing here in OpenOffice Draw if we want to touch up our photo in anyway. We will be talking about some of that later on but primarily you are going to be creating your own graphics, types of projects include desktop publishing, pamphlets and menus for example. It might also require sign making or you might even want to create some flow charts that you are going to use in other applications for example if you are going to be creating a presentation and you wanted an org chart or a flow chart of some kind you can create it here and bring that image into your presentation software. It could even be OpenOffice Impress for example. And in fact as we tour the user interface in the next lesson you are going to see a lot of similarities to OpenOffice Impress. If you are familiar with that presentation application you are going to see some things that you're probably already familiar within that application. So hopefully understand now the difference between vector and bitmap. It will all come clear when we start creating. In the next lesson we are going to launch the application and take a nice tour of the user interface to get you comfortable in your surroundings before we start creating our own files.
- Combining many objects into one Creating flowcharts Working with text and paragraphs Applying shadows, transparency, extrusion, and perspective Protecting a file with a password Setting print options