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Vector graphics rendering is the process of generating models from geometrical primitives such as lines, points, curves and shapes to represent images in computer graphics.
The advantage of vector graphics is that as a mathematical formula, they are scalable and do not lose resolution when scaled. When dimensioned objects such as bitmapped images are scaled, they lose resolution. Vector images and objects may be twisted, stretched and colored using mathematical operators in the software and rendered to the user through a graphical user interface (GUI). Transformations can also include set operations on closed shapes. Vector formats are ideal for drawings that are device independent.
A point is defined in space (either two or three-dimensional) by a combination of the angle of the point from the zero plane, the z-dimension (in 3D graphics) and the distance of the point from the origin. This makes the definition of shapes using vector geometry a mathematical formula rather than a fixed data array that defines bitmapped images.
File size depends on resolution, although the vector file size rendering the bit map remains the same. Saving an image rendered from a vector source file is preferred. Different systems might have different vector formats such as ".eps" or the ".ai" format used by Adobe Illustrator. A vector graphics file size depends on the number of graphic elements it contains. Vectorized surfaces are common features of 3D computer graphics. Applications with simplicity and interactive frame rates use simple meshes and polygons to represent geometric details. High image qualities are delivered using smooth surfaces such as subdivision surfaces, Bezier patches, etc. Polygons also render smooth surfaces through shading algorithms. With vector images used in computer animation, formulas can be used to provide the transformations required in animated sequences. By contrast, animated bitmaps require a huge amount of data storage and bandwidth to redisplay each frame. With vector animation, the transformations are handled by CPU calculations as opposed to the bitmap data-retrieval method.