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Definition: 2D graphics

The creation, display and manipulation of objects in the computer in two dimensions. Drawing programs and 2D CAD programs allow objects to be drawn on an X-Y scale as if they were drawn on paper. Although 3D images can be drawn in 2D programs, their views are static. They can be scaled larger or smaller, but they cannot be rotated to different angles as with 3D objects in 3D graphics programs. They also lack the automatic lighting effects of 3D programs. Any desired shadows must be created by the artist using color fills or gradients. See graphics and 3D graphics.