Doubting castle 2,Digital painting: Vector vs Bitmap, which one’s better?

Doubting castle 2,Digital painting: Vector vs Bitmap, which one’s better?

Zhang Zihan

I have many friends who are anime/manga artists. They all use computer to create digital painting works but their styles are quite different. Generally they can be categorized into two groups. One creates works that are more like paper painting, with lots of details and subtlety, usually with a depth of field. For example, this one:

屏幕快照 2014-06-05 下午11.59.40

The others create works which are made with lots of smooth lines and curves. They look smooth yet lacks of the sense of space. For example, this one:

屏幕快照 2014-06-05 下午11.51.36

Which one is your love? My personal choice is the first one. It simulates the pressure of real paint brush so well and creates a natural, artistic sense of beauty. While the latter one just too plain and lacks of details to draw my attention.

The first one is a bitmap image painted with graphics tablet, while the latter one is a vector image painted with Adobe Flash. Tough I have my personal preferences, both digital painting method have their own advantages.

According to BBC’s BITESIZE, bitmap is composed of many tiny parts called pixels, which are often many different colours. It is possible to edit each individual pixel and each pixel contains individual information. Thus bitmap can store rich information and replicate the real painting style well. This makes it the only choice for digital photographs.

While Vectors are made up of many individual, scalable objects which are defined by mathematical equations rather than pixels. in this occasion, they can always present the highest quality and they are not afraid of zooming in. Vectors can be very small in size comparing with bitmap. What”s more, this also makes them handy to produce, thus they are ideal choices for making animations.


BITMAPS are more real painting like, more natural, more detailed, more professional

Vectors are easier to create, handy to produce in quantity, have smaller size to archive, yet lacks of details