Vector Graphics

Vector graphics are images that consist of two-dimensional geometric objects such as circles, lines, splines or Bezier curves.

Technically speaking, a vector graphic is based on a description code. This can be written in SVG syntax, for example.

For example, the following code represents a rectangle:

rect x="10" y="10" width="80" height="80" fill="red"

Vector graphics are often contrasted with pixel graphics. Pixel graphics technically consist of bytes. Single or multiple bytes represent the color of a single pixel.

In contrast to pixel graphics, vector graphics contain structural information. The pixel information is only calculated when the graphic is rendered. In certain application contexts, the structural information can be important, especially in the production process. Examples are

  • technical drawings
  • diagrams of all kinds
  • mathematical curve representations

The rendering of graphics requires computing power that does not have to be used when displaying pixel graphics. For this reason, vector graphics are rarely found in performance-critical applications (e.g. in games).