Raster or Vector?

Vectored Graphics

Vectored images are defined by a 2 dimensional outline, or lase pattern, that starts at a preprogrammed start point and follows a preprogrammed point-to-point path to a defined end point. Vector images can be created with line segments consisting of straight lines, arcs, angles or circles. These resulting images are often called vector graphics since they are comprised of vectors, or paths, instead of dots.

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Rastered Graphics

Raster images are defined by a bit map lase pattern in which an area is scanned from side to side in lines from top to bottom or bottom to top resulting in a pattern of closely spaced rows of dots that form an image. Photographic images from a digital camera, scanner, emails or copied from the internet are the primary source of images used with the Raster graphics capabilities.

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The Difference Between Raster and Vector Programs

Raster graphics are resolution dependent. They cannot scale up to an arbitrary resolution without the possible loss of apparent quality. This property contrasts with the capabilities of vector graphics, which easily scale up to the quality of the device rendering them. Raster graphics deal more practically than vector graphics with photographs and photo-realistic images, while vector graphics often serve better for high speed marking of text alphanumerics and logos and is the file choice for cutting.

Raster image editors, like Painter, Photoshop, MS Paint, and GIMP, revolve around editing pixels, unlike vector-based image editors, such as CadCam systems, CorelDRAW, and Adobe Illustrator, which revolve around editing lines and shapes (vectors). When an image is rendered in a raster-based image editor, the image is composed of millions of pixels. At its core, a raster image editor works by manipulating each individual pixel.

Whichever file type you use for etching/engraving, ALW provides the best technology in the marketplace to achieve accurate, scalable results quickly, efficiently and repeatedly due to the manner in which we linearize the optical path of the laser to achieve the same result anywhere, our use of a direct pixel by pixel interface that provides a higher degree of accuracy and throughput than is possible with line printer interface, and the focus we have in training you to achieve results rather than assuming that just because a competitor might provide a simple to use “line printer” type interface, you will be able to quickly achieve accurate results.