What is a Bitmap image?

A Bitmap image with different angles

In the world of design, there are two different and very popular techniques to create, store and process digital images. On the one hand there is the so-called bitmap and on the other the vector image. A Bitmap image is among the most widespread, the main image formats that can be downloaded from the Internet belong to this group, for example JPEG, GIF or PNG images. Other formats such as PDF or SVG are part of the vector image.

In this article we explore the world of Bitmap images, its scope and main characteristics. The objective is to understand in greater depth the scope and limitations of this type of file. Understand the difference and the uses that each of these images can best take advantage of to guarantee quality in your design work.

The Bitmap image, definition and scope

La bitmap image It is also known by the name of raster image or bitmap. It is made up of a grid with pixels, all organized in a grid. Each pixel that is part of the bitmap has a definitive color represented by a value. By zooming in on the image you can clearly see each pixel. The higher the number of pixels per image, the higher the quality.

Unlike the vector image, the Bitmap image It has its grid perfectly defined and maintains a fixed quality. By both enlarging and reducing the image, we will see that the pixels are multiplied or divided as necessary. This causes a noticeable loss of quality. On the other hand, vector images are based on mathematical formulas and their resolution is infinite, and can be adapted according to the dimensions needed by each user.

What are Bitmap images used for?

Images bitmap format is usually used mainly in publications where quality reduction is not important when zooming. For example, they are the most common images on a website, where it is important that the image looks good and has a resolution according to the text or publication. But if a user wants to zoom in, it doesn't matter if the quality suffers. The bitmap image is much more widespread because its uses are mainly related to the possibility of filling spaces and online publications such as blogs or web pages.

The main advantages of a bitmap image

These types of images have a remarkable capacity for representing reality. They are usually shown as one of the best options for images ranging from photographs and presentations, achieving a high level of detail in general and extended display publications.

The Disadvantages of a Bitmap Image

On the negative side, the Bitmap image also has some peculiarities. First is the fact that not being able to zoom or magnify as the quality deteriorates Notably, bitmap images are primarily made to be viewed in the original resolution.

Some bitmap images They are not of sufficient quality to be printed. In these cases, when printed the image appears too pixelated and it becomes difficult to detect the details that can be seen on the web.

Another disadvantage is that images in BMP or high quality format, They weigh a lot. Vector images in this sense are much more practical and faster to transfer from one unit or storage medium to another.

Vectorization or rasterization

In the world of image design and technology, we talk about two different processes: vectorization and rasterization. The first is a conversion process by which a bitmap image is converted to a vector image. Depending on the complexity of the file, vectorization can be done manually with third-party programs or applications, or manually. The manual process is recommended for very complex images, where attention to detail is essential. In automated vectorization programs some parameters can escape the app.

How the zoom compares in a vectorized image and in a Bitmap

In contrast, the rasterization process consists of converting vector images to bitmaps. This process is usually much simpler and automated, since it involves reducing the quality and editing potential of the images in some aspects.

Bitmap Conclusions

The Bitmap image is especially useful and is recommended for taking photographs or shooting video scenes. Depending on the number of bits dedicated to each grid pixel, a bitmap may have certain colors. In this way, one of the most important image technologies is developed and has allowed the development of different pieces of digital art and the world of video games. Learning to get the most out of each Bitmap image, from PNG and GIF to JPG, is part of the knowledge to improve design techniques and alternatives.

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