25 July 2010
An image-editing program (sometimes called a raster graphics editor) enables you to select and edit pixels of a bitmap graphic and save or export the artwork in file formats such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, and TIFF. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Fireworks are examples of bitmap graphic editing tools.
Bitmap graphics are generally used to display photographic content, such as images captured with a digital camera. These files display individual pixels that contain unique color values; when viewed together, the pixels comprise the photo or image.
Bitmap graphics should not be scaled. If you want to import bitmap graphics into Flash, use an image-editing program to resize and optimize them prior to bringing them in. When you scale bitmap graphics, you lose pixel data and the quality of the image can be compromised. Convert imported bitmap graphics into symbols to improve performance in Flash.
Conversely, vector graphics are comprised of points, which are connected with lines and curves to form paths. Computers mathematically calculate the paths of vector graphics and, as a result, these images require much less processing resources to render. This makes vectors ideal for animation. Additionally, vector graphics can be scaled without affecting the quality of the image.
You can use the Paint Bucket tool in Flash to fill a vector object with the pixels of an imported bitmap. The file format most commonly associated with bitmap graphics is JPEG.