Uses Of Raster Animation In Computer Graphics

Raster images can be used in a variety of animation programs.

Raster graphics create images with a realistic, photographic appearance. Used in illustration and computer animation, raster images are based on pixels, rather than vectors, and can be created in painting, drawing and image-editing software as well as in 3D-rendering applications. Although raster images add a realistic touch to animations and graphics, they require large file sizes and cannot be scaled without losing sharpness.

Using Raster Graphics

Raster graphics can be incorporated into animation using applications such as Flash and Fireworks. These pixel-based images can be used alone or in combination with vector art created in programs such as Adobe Illustrator for a variety of visual effects. Raster art can be exported from image-editing software including Adobe Photoshop and Corel Draw, as well as 3D rendering programs like Maya, for numerous animation purposes.

Raster and Vector Graphics

Both raster and vector graphics can be used in animation and other kinds of illustration, but raster graphics, based on pixels (pixel elements) cannot be scaled without loss of sharpness. Vector graphics, created by mathematical extrapolation based on points, are scalable and retain their appearance at any size. Raster file sizes are larger than vector files and require more space and computer time for storage and loading.

Raster Images and Rendering

Rendering operations for 3D raster images, such as those created in programs like Maya and Poser, make significant demands on memory and file space. These images, used heavily in cinema and gaming animation, can demand over twice as much upload and download time as 2D raster graphics. 3D software offers thumbnail rendering and export options to accommodate the relatively lengthy rendering times needed for raster images.

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Exporting Raster Graphics

Like vector graphics, raster graphics can be exported to a variety of external applications and saved in numerous file formats including PNG, JPG and GIF. Raster images created in 3D software can be saved in 3D format, or exported in a 2D version to animation software if needed. Despite drawbacks such as large file sizes and lack of scalability, raster images provide a realistic, photographic look in animated art of all kinds.