Differences between Vector and Raster Graphics

By Mohit Uniyal|Updated : November 3rd, 2022

The difference between raster and vector graphics is that raster graphics carries the pixels. In contrast, vector graphics carry paths. Before going further into the difference between raster and vector, let us see a few important terms. A pixel of a picture is something which is the element known to be the smallest addressable element, and a bitmap is refers to something which defines the pixel color and space of  display. It carries the information of each pixel.

Differences between Vector and Raster Graphics PDF

Here, we will see the difference between raster and vector graphics based on various factors thereafter; we will explore each type of graphic in detail.

Difference between Vector and Raster Graphics

Both Vector and raster graphics are widely used nowadays in production of the digital photos, logos, and other digital images. Differences between Vector and Raster graphics are essential to know for the GATE 2023 exam as well. The complete list of the differences is shown below:

Key Differences between Vector and Raster Graphics

Raster GraphicsVector
The Raster image is produced with pixels.The vector image is produced with curves and lines.
The raster graphics are cheaper than the vector graphic.The vector graphics are costlier than the raster graphics.
The size of the raster graphic is bigger than then vector graphic.The size is small hence occupies the lesser space.
The scan conversion of the end points into pixels is done.For vector graphics, scan conversion is not done.
Pixel approximation is done for formation of the curves and complex shapes.Smooth lines and curves are produces without use of approximation.
.GIF, .JPG, .BMP, .TIF extensions are produced..SVG, .EPS, .AI, .DXF, .PDF extensions are produces

What is Raster Graphic?

Raster graphics are built from pixels. They are used to store information. The number of pixels present in the image defines the quality of the image. It is directly proportional to the quality of the image. The bitmap will store the information. For example, a 3072 x 2048 image will carry 6.29 megapixels.

The raster graphics are essential for the GATE CSE syllabus. The raster graphics are used to define 2D pictures. The raster images are ideally used in creating digital images as they are easily compressed and edited.

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What is a Vector Graphics?

Unlike raster graphics, vector graphics carry mathematically defined lines. Mathematical formulae define these lines and their shape. The important quality of vector images is that they retain their quality irrespective of the size of the image.

Vector graphics are the best suitable graphic choice when solid colours are used. The colour gradient is not achieved in these as in the raster graphics. The images in vector graphics are formed by mathematical lines, sometimes known as wireframes.

Other Important GATE Topics
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Difference between Compiler and InterpreterDifference Between Algorithm and Flowchart

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FAQs on Differences between Vector and Raster Graphics

  • The main difference between Vector and Raster Graphics is that raster graphics uses pixels to save information and colour, whereas vector graphics use vector lines following the mathematics relations to draw shapes or sizes.

  • The Difference between Vector and Raster Graphics as per the size is that the raster file carries a larger size than the vector file. The same amount of information covered in the vector graphics carries a smaller memory.

  • Raster graphics are the graphics formed with pixels or bitmap. The information is carried via bitmap. We can see the GIF, .JPG, .BMP, .TIF extension formats produced by the raster graphics. These are 2D digital images whose quality varies with the size.

  • Vector graphics are graphics formed with coded lines. These lines or curves are mathematically coded. The .SVG, .EPS, .AI, .DXF, .PDF extension formats are produced with the help of this graphic property. The quality of the image does not vary with the size of the image.

  • The Key Difference between Vector and Raster Graphics as per the quality of the graphic is that in quality of the graphics does not depend on the size of the image for vector graphics, whereas in raster graphics, the size variation will affect the quality of the image.

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