Originally a vector line rendering, this illustration was brought into Adobe Photoshop™ where various tools, special filters and subtle techniques were employed to create the Bitmap drawing shown here.


Roll over to see larger image

Because of all of the extensive “continuous tone” detailing, this illustration is no longer a vector line rendering.


Generally speaking, a bitmap rendering and a photograph can be considered and handled in the same way. (Both are continuous tone images). Whether you refer to them as bitmaps, raster or continuous tone images, they are composed of a specific arrangements of dots (pixels) rather than lines. Illustrations created INSIDE the computer and photographs taken using a digital camera are digital images automatically.

Unlike a photograph, Bitmap Illustrations often start out as simple line renderings created in Adobe Illustrator,™ Corel Draw,™ or a similar drawing program. To add detailing, subtle coloration, or special effects, renderings are often copied and pasted into a PAINT program like Adobe Photoshop™ or similar application. Most PAINT programs feature a wide variety of tools like airbrushes and other "Filters" that can add detailing that is difficult, if not impossible, to create inside a typical DRAWING program.


When a photographic print or an illustration rendered on paper (hard copy) is needed, it must be “scanned” into the computer using a flatbed or high-end drum scanner. The subject matter is digitally mapped (rasterized) by the scanner, and converted into pixels. The resulting digitized image is a "Bitmap" of the original photo. The higher the resolution of the scan, the more pixels are created to define the image. The more pixels that are used to define the image, the sharper and more detailed the image will become. Consequently, a large number of pixels will result in a large file size. The quality of the scanner will also greatly affect the quality of the image that appears on your screen. It often takes ALOT of work and manipulation to make scanned image appear as good as the original. Continuous Tone/Raster/Bitmap images can be saved in a variety of resolutions and sizes dictated by their intended use. Resolution will affect your final quality.