Published on September 15, 2014
Digital Graphics File Formats Scott Harrand
Raster Graphics • Raster Graphics are a type of graphics composed of bitmaps, tiny pixels of colour that make up the entirety of an image. Because they are made up of bitmaps, Raster Graphic images will often suffer a loss of quality due to image distortion if they are resized.
Vector Graphics • A Vector Graphic is different to a Raster Graphic because Vector Graphics will not suffer image distortion due to resizing. This is because, rather than being composed of small bitmaps, Vector Graphics are made up of, as the name would suggest, vectors. Vectors have a path which the computer will recognize at any size, rather than small blocks of colour. View slide
Raster Graphics View slide
JPEG Stands For Joint Photographic Experts Group Used For/Example JPEGs are a commonly used file type, often used for sharing photos over the internet. Advantage JPEGs are a small file type due to file compression, which means they do not take up much computer storage and can be shared and downloaded easily. Disadvantage JPEGs are a relatively low quality image file compared to other image file sorts, due to being compressed. They can also lose more and more image quality each time they are edited, due to having to be compressed every time they are saved.
TIFF Stands For Tagged Image File Format Used For/Example Used often in Graphic Designs, such as magazines. Advantage Documents that span multiple pages can be saved into a single TIFF file, which is especially useful for Graphic Designers creating a magazine. They can also retain their image quality even after being compressed. Disadvantage TIFF files can have a very large file size, which means they may take up more space on various devices that other image files would not.
GIF Stands For Graphics Interchange Format Used For/Example GIFs are primarily used on the internet to play short animations. Advantage The use of a GIF to display a short animation, often not lasting more than a few seconds, is a good alternative to using a short video animation, which often would take up more storage space. Disadvantage Many GIFs may have a poor image quality due to the limited colour palette allowed by the file, as well as being a file that cannot be edited once it has been saved as a GIF.
BMP Stands For Bitmap Image File Used For/Example BMPs are often used to save raster images that use Bitmaps, and can be used to create Windows Wallpaper images. Advantage BMP files do not lose image quality if they are compressed. Disadvantage BMP files have a very large file size, which may take up large amounts of storage space.
PSD Stands For Photoshop Document Used For/Example PSD files are often used in the creation of magazine covers. Advantage PSD files will save all the layers used in the creation of an image, as well as supporting image transparency, which is very important for certain forms of media and graphics, such as T-Shirt design. Disadvantage PSD files cannot be opened by someone who does not have Photoshop downloaded on to their own device, and must be converted to a different file type.
AI Stands For Adobe Illustrator Art Used For/Example Can be used in the creation of logos. Advantage As AI is a Vector Graphic file type, it can be scaled to any size without loss of image quality or image distortion. Disadvantage Certain software is needed to be able to open an AI file, or else it needs to be converted into a different image file to be seen by someone without the software.
FLA Stands For Flash File Used For/Example Used to create animations and games. Advantage FLAs have a small file size, despite being of a high quality. They also include both sound and video. Disadvantage FLAs can cause websites they are uploaded to to load slowly.
WMF Stands For Windows Metafile Used For/Example WMFs are often used in the creation of logos. Advantage WMFs can be scaled to a variety of different sizes with no loss of image quality and without suffering any image distortion. Disadvantage WMFs are not supported on much software, and will often have to be converted in order to use images that were originally WMFs on certain software and applications.
File Format Capture and Optimising
Compression Definition Compression is a method of file size reduction to make a file type take up less storage space in a device. Advantage A compressed file will take up less storage space, allowing for a smoother running device with more storage space for new files. Disadvantage The file that is compressed may often suffer from a loss of image quality, as well as image distortion.
Image Capture Method Scanner How is it used for image capture of graphics Scanners can capture a pre-existing, physical image, such as a photograph or drawing, and convert it into a digital file. Method Camera How is it used for image capture of graphics A camera can be used to capture images of real, physical things and people. Method Graphics Tablet How is it used for image capture of graphics Graphic Tablets can be used to create images, in a similar fashion to drawing, but in a digital format.
Optimising Why would you optimise? Optimized files can be more easily viewed on the internet, so that they load quicker. How can you optimise? A simple way to optimize a file is to make the image size smaller. Advantage to optimising An optimized image file will load faster on the internet. Disadvantage to optimising An optimized image file may lose defintion or colour quality due to lowered resolution and/or bit depth.
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