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Vector Graphics in Computer Graphics

Last Updated : 22 Nov, 2023
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Vector graphics is a versatile and scalable computer graphics approach. Vector graphics use mathematical equations and geometric shapes instead of pixel-based raster graphics. This article discusses vector graphics, their technologies, how to create and manipulate them, and how to use them to learn.

Vector graphics have no resolution limit, unlike raster graphics. They retain image quality at any size. A series of commands or mathematical statements creates them. Graphic artists preserve their work as vector declarations. The most prevalent vector graphic format is.SVG. Analytic or coordinate geometry underpins them, not other mathematical uses of vectors.

Ivan Sutherland invented vector graphics in 1963. He developed the first vector graphics editor, called Sketchpad, which allowed users to create and edit vector graphics on a computer screen. Sutherland wrote Sketchpad as part of his PhD thesis.

Terminologies Related to Vector Graphics

  • Mathematical Representation: Vector graphics represent object shapes and trajectories using mathematical calculations. These formulas determine element position, size, and properties.
  • Scalability: Scalability is a vector graphics advantage. Vector images are perfect for logos, icons, and illustrations because they resize without losing quality.
  • Editing Flexibility: Editing vector graphics is simple. Software like Adobe Illustrator or open-source Inkscape may change vector objects’ forms, colors, and characteristics.
  • File Formats: Common file formats for vector graphics include SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), AI (Adobe Illustrator), and EPS (Encapsulated PostScript).
  • Use Cases: Vector graphics are utilized in logos, typography, illustrations, and maps.

Tools and Technologies used in Vector Graphics

  • SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics): SVG is a popular XML-based vector graphics format. It outlines the forms, directions, and characteristics of vector elements. SVG files may be modified with HTML and CSS and are easily scaleable..
  • Vector Graphics Software: Vector graphics applications: Designers may generate, edit, and export vector drawings using well-known software programmes like Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape (an open-source programme), and CorelDRAW. The user-friendly interface offered by these tools makes it simple to manipulate vector objects..
  • Programming Libraries: SVG.js and D3.js are two examples of libraries that give programmers the ability to produce and edit vector graphics. These packages come in helpful for interactive web apps and dynamic visualisations..
  • OpenGL: An API for 2D and 3D graphics is called OpenGL. It offers a common set of graphics control instructions for many different systems and applications.

How to Create your Own Vector Graphic Images?

  • Design: Start by sketching the concept of your graphic. Determine the shapes, lines, and colors you want to use.
  • Choose a Tool: Select a vector graphics software or library that suits your needs. Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape are excellent choices for designers, while developers might prefer libraries like SVG.js.
  • Create Shapes: Use the chosen tool to create shapes, lines, curves, and text. You can adjust their properties, such as size, colour, and stroke width.
  • Edit and Modify: Vector graphics are highly editable. You can easily move, resize, or reshape elements. Changing colors and gradients is also straightforward.
  • Save and Export: Save your vector graphic in an appropriate format. SVG is a standard choice, but you can also export to other formats like PDF or EPS for specific use cases.
Randomly generated SVG image

Randomly generated SVG image

Advantages of Vector Graphics

There are many advantages of vector graphics in computer graphics which are:

  • The main advantage of vector graphics is Scalability which is appear precise and tidy at any size because they are based on mathematical vector connections, or correlations between points that form lines and curves.
  • Vector graphics only store a small number of points and the mathematical relationships between them that’s why it’s basically have a small file size.
  • Vector files are very much simple to transfer and load across various types of platforms and applications because to their reduced file sizes.
  • Vector graphics is much simple to duplicate certain elements of one graphic to another and make clones of vector images as per requirement.
  • Vector graphics provide an accurate appearance and feel since they may be scaled up or down based on the situation.

Disadvantages of Vector Graphics

  • Vector files have much limited ability to handle complicated images. Let’s an example, raster files are more capable of providing color blending and shading than the vector files when it comes to images.
  • Basically the web browsers support raster images more often than the vector graphics.
  • As per requirement, the applications can differ in their use of vector pictures based on compatibility issues between rendering and creation tools, among other things.


Vector graphics open up computer graphics options. Their mathematical underpinning, scalability, and editing flexibility make them useful for logo design and dynamic online visualisations. Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape make vector graphics creation and manipulation easier than ever. Vector graphics are adaptable and crucial for designers seeking precision and developers creating dynamic images.

FAQs on Vector Graphics in Computer Graphics

Q.1: What are vector graphics’ key advantages over raster graphics?


Vector graphics are scaleable without sacrificing quality since they are independent of resolution.

Q.2: Can I use vector graphics on websites?


Yes, SVG is a widely supported format for web graphics, offering sharp and responsive images.

Q.3: How do I convert raster images to vector graphics?


You can use vectorisation tools in software like Adobe Illustrator or specialised online converters.

Q.4: Are there free vector graphics software alternatives to Adobe Illustrator?

Yes, Inkscape is a powerful open-source vector graphics editor that’s widely used and free to use.

Q.5: Which programming language is commonly used for manipulating vector graphics programmatically?

Answer: JavaScript, particularly with libraries like SVG.js and D3.js, is often used for dynamic vector graphics in web applications.

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