Many of our Floral clip art collections are comprised of sets of bitmap and vector images. As I mentioned in a previous post, this kind of imagery is conducive to vectorization because it tends to be more graphical–more stylized and flatter-looking.
Vectors, in their raw form appear like simple black & white clip art images. Don't let this first impression fool you! The expressive qualities that can be extracted from these simple-appearing images is truly only limited to your imagination and skills. When we first started publishing our vector collections we knew that we wanted to address issues of inspiration and instruction, so we added two new sections to this series of publications—a 'gallery' section which showed the images in play, and an 'instructional' section which gave step-by-step directions on how to create various effects using the clip art images. When you purchase and download a collection from the Vector Designs series you'll receive an easily viewable pdf of the original book that includes digital versions of these two sections.
|Typical Vector Designs Gallery Section page|
|Typical Vector Designs Instructional Section page|
Probably the best aspect of vector images is their scalability. You can enlarge them quite a bit without incurring nasty pixelation (which is typically what happens to bitmap images). In the past you'd have to use a a vector-editing or illustration software program to use vectors—something like Macromedia Freehand, Corel Suite or Adobe Illustrator; these would allow you to use the full functionality of the vector. Today, thanks to the folks at Adobe, you can open them in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. When you open a vector with one of these programs it converts it into a bitmap. The great feature is that you get to indicate just how big you want the image to be; when it opens the edges are crisp-just like a vector.
As I mentioned above, if you want the full functionality of vectors then you'll need a program like Adobe Illustrator. A great free alternative is the open-source vector editor –Inkscape. It can do many of the things that Illustrator does, but for free! Check this link out to download a copy: http://inkscape.org/download/