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Software Photoshop, Lightroom, Paintshop Pro, Painter, etc., and all their various plugins. Of course, you can also discuss all other programs, as well.

Flash

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  #1  
Old 06-04-2002, 01:57 AM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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Flash

in another thread( One Bit Image) Jak was asking for a thread explaining Flash and Vector, so here's my attempt to explain:
Flash is a vector program. in Vector, the image information is saved as coordinates and the color information inside them, which makes the file sizes much smaller then Bitmap or anything pixel based (BMP, Jpeg, Tiff etc.) Also, this makes it so that your image is scaleable without messing up the image, like what happens if you try to enlarge a bitmap. In Flash you can import bitmaps into vector and then scale them easily. Flash's main use though, is for making video clips, and since vector is so much smaller for file sizes than AVI of anything like that (since they are saved in pixels), the images can be put on the web and are load very quickly (unless you've used lots of pixel images and sounds in it, which is kind of defeating the whole point of using something like Flash). anyway, hope that helps you Jak, and anybody else out there who hasn't heard much about Flash and Vector (and to any Vector experts out there - please correct me if I just told everybody completely wrong info or anything)

-David
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Old 06-04-2002, 02:11 AM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Thanks David!

The only think I know about Vector is that it's not pixel based and you can make it bigger without losing quality, so your explanation was really helpful!
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Old 06-04-2002, 02:27 AM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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no problem Jak, glad I could help!

- David
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Old 06-04-2002, 02:28 AM
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Blacknight Blacknight is offline
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Sounds good, but vector maybe needs more explanation...

There are paint programs and drawing programs. The difference being that paint programs use little squares, called pixels. They are bit mapped, in that the program remembers where each little square is and the color of it. That is why picures done in Photoshop or Painter or any painting program are so large when you make them with a high PPI (pixels per inch). Expand any of these either by increasing their dpi or by zooming in with the magnify tool and you will see the jagged edges that square pixes make.

On the other hand there are drawing programs, which use lines instead of pixels. These are called vector, and their advantage is that they can be made to any size without loss of resolution (yes, you can create a postage stamp sized image and enlarge it to billboard size and it will still look great!). Photshop is beginning to use the simple vector shapes now, but the main programs are FreeHand and Illustrator.

Flash uses vector shapes, and you can get some really complex and intricate designs and yes, even pictures (of a sort) that will load several times faster than anything created in a paint program and have much better resolution. Drawing with Flash or any drawing program is more like drawing with a pencil. Lines can be given different widths and shapes filled with different colors. Someone skilled in their usage can create a picture that will rival any painting program and have the advantage of being infinitely expandable without loss.

It's much quicker and easier to paint than it is to draw, which is why vector doesn't have as much appeal as it could. Especially with photo adjusters, who are more used to scanning photographs and retouching or manipulating them with pixels. You can't scan to vector (that I know of) yet, so we use painting programs and complain of file size and loss of quality at high expansion of an image.

Until we can scan to vector (which I hope some company is working on somewhere) then we live with pixesl and their problems. Vector is gaining ground, though, with products like Flash. Maybe someday we will all remember fondly the good old days when people actually used pixels to make pictures.

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Old 06-04-2002, 02:45 AM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blacknight
You can't scan to vector (that I know of) yet, so we use painting programs and complain of file size and loss of quality at high expansion of an image.

Until we can scan to vector (which I hope some company is working on somewhere) then we live with pixesl and their problems.

try this search: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Scan+to+Vector%22 there's some interesting results.
thanks for the more detailed description of flash/vector.
the other thing I really like in flash is something called "snapping". you can draw a quite imperfect circle / square / triangle / whatever, and click on snap and it'll snap it to a perfect version of what you were trying to get.

- David
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Old 06-04-2002, 07:48 AM
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Mike Needham Mike Needham is offline
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Do I sense the start of a popular Flash uprising? Or will it be quelled by the evil Photoshop hordes

Some nice observations about flash and its advantages, I have never really thought about the issue of scanning to vector, how would you imagine this to work? (if I can ask you to extrapolate).

As I have no knowledge in this area, therefore no preconcieved ideas, I would like to see it work in a similiar fashion to the trace bitmap function that is already in most vector programs, where you are able to choose the conformity of the 'trace' and the corner ratios etc...
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Old 06-04-2002, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
As I have no knowledge in this area, therefore no preconcieved ideas, I would like to see it work in a similiar fashion to the trace bitmap function that is already in most vector programs, where you are able to choose the conformity of the 'trace' and the corner ratios etc...
I don't know anything about the trace bitmap functions you mention, but I can't see how, from a bitmap-based device like a scanner, you can build a vector-based image.

Folks at Altamira (Genuine Fractals) have been trying for years to build algorithms which would allow you to scale up an image. If you have no data, how do you interpolate?

Last edited by BigAl; 06-05-2002 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 06-04-2002, 12:50 PM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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hmm yeah, I don't know of any ways to scan right into Vector, the only way I know of is to Scan to Bitmap, then import it into vector.

- David
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Old 06-04-2002, 03:34 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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There is actually scan to vector software, but it seems to be confined to niche applications like sign design software. Most of it is not very good...trust me, you can really pull your hair out trying to get it to work properly! In my opinion, products like Adobe Streamline and Corel Trace do a much better job.

Doug has a good description of vector and raster images in the glossary

The only thing I would add to help explain vector is that it is a mathematically based image. A vector file type, like those produced by Flash, Illustrator, CAD, etc..., does not actually contain the image in the the same way a bitmap file does. Rather, the vector file tells the software how to draw the image using a combination of paths and points (sometimes also called nodes). Since all of the shapes are described in purely mathematical terms, the image can be scaled to any size without degradation.
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Old 06-05-2002, 01:07 AM
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Neat summary, Greg.
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