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Raster & Vector

Raster (or
bitmap) images
are described by
an array or map
of bits within a
rectangular grid
of pixels or dots.
Vector images are described
by lines, shapes, and other
graphic image components
stored in a format that
incorporates geometric
formulas for rendering the


The amount of detail in

an image.
Digital images are
measured by the
number of pixels per
inch (ppi).
For printing, resolution
is measured by the
number of dots printed
in a linear inch (dpi).
The higher the
resolution, the larger the
file size.

Any of several
methods for
achieving a smooth
transition between
two adjacent
colors, including
black and white is
called a Gradient

Aliasing &
Anti Aliasing
Aliasing is the visual
stair-stepping of
edges that occurs in
an image when the
resolution is too low.
Anti-aliasing is the
smoothing of jagged
edges in digital
images by
averaging the colors
of the pixels at a

Color Modes

Color Mode
Lab Color Mode
The color mode, or image mode, determines how the
components of a color are combined, based on the number of
color channels in the color model.

1: RGB mode (millions of colors); 2: Index Color mode (256

colors); 3: Grayscale mode (2); 4: Bitmap mode (2 colors)

Bitmap Color Mode

Not to be confused with the Windows file format BMP, an
image using the Bitmap color profile is displayed in true black
and white. That is, no shades of gray in between each pixel is
displayed strictly in either black or white.
A bitmap image is best used for line drawings, signatures, or
logos made up of one solid color. If the resolution of a bitmap
image is high enough, a bitmap image will print great, but
often doesn't look too
sharp on the web.
This mode uses one of two color values (black or white) to
represent the pixels in an image. Images in Bitmap mode are
called bitmapped 1-bit images because they have a bit depth
of 1


Grayscale is the color

mode most refer to as
black and white. Each
pixel can be displayed in a
total of 256 shades
ranging from black to

Grayscale images are

usually printed with just
one ink color, the different
shades of gray created by
heavier and lighter
distributions of ink.


RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. It is used most

widely for images displayed on screen.
Digital cameras use it, your mobile phone, and so does
any digital device displaying images through a screen.

RGB is an additive color model. An additive color model

involves light emitting directly from a source the colors
of light usually being Red, Blue and Green. When these
three lights are mixed in equal intensities, you get white.
Much the same, a wide gamut (range) of colors can be
produced by mixing various intensities of these lights.

For example, mixing equal parts blue and green

produces the color cyan, when using the RGB color
mode. Equal parts red and green yield the color yellow.

What this means is that every single pixel being

displayed on screen is a mixture of particular intensities
of Red, Green and Blue.

Of all color modes, RGB boasts the largest color gamut.

The RGB color mode should be used when working for

any image meant to be displayed on a screen. That is,
web design, editing digital photos, etc.


CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). It is used
mainly for commercial print jobs advertisements, magazines,
books, posters, etc.

Contrary to RGB, CMYK is a subtractive color model. Unlike in an

additive color model, where white is produced from a mixture of
different colored light, in a subtractive color model, the more color
mixed together (paints, dyes, inks, etc.), the closer to black you will

Index Color Mode

Indexed Color mode produces 8-bit image files with at most

256 colors. When converting to indexed color, Photoshop
builds a color lookup table (CLUT), which stores and indexes
the colors in the image. If a color in the original image does
not appear in the table, the program chooses the closest one
or uses dithering to simulate the color using available colors.
By limiting the palette of colors, indexed color can reduce file
size while maintaining enough visual quality for certain
applications like a multimedia presentation or a Web page.
Limited editing is available in this mode.

Highlight & Shadow

Highlights are the brightest elements in an image; shadows

are the darkest parts.

The black arrow indicates the shadow areas of the images. In a color
image, look for the darkest colors. In a grayscale image, look for the
darkest gray or black areas.
The white arrow indicates the highlight areas of the images. In a color
image, look for the lightest colors. In a grayscale image, look for the
lightest gray or white areas.

Saturation & Desaturation

Saturation makes colors more vivid

Desaturation makes colors more muted

Original color image (left). The desaturated version (center) has no col
In the oversaturated version (right), tonal detail is lost.


A technique that reduces the file size of bitmap images. Compressed images
are used on web pages to improve viewing speed and performance.

The original, uncompressed image (left) is 11.6 MB.

After compression (right) the file size is 363.1K Compression decreases the fi
but has the added effect of degrading quality. Compare the insets in the left
right images to see the loss of detail.


Dithering is the process of juxtaposing

pixels of two colors to create the illusion
that a third color is present.

Dithering is the most common means of

reducing the color range of images down
to the 256 (or fewer) colors seen in 8-bit
GIF images.

Most images are dithered in a diffusion or

randomized pattern to diminish the harsh
transition from one color to another. But
dithering also reduces the overall
sharpness of an image, and it often
introduces a noticeable grainy pattern in
the image.