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Definition: graphics conversion


Changing an image from one graphics format into another. The new image may not look identical to the original for several reasons. The import/export filters in the application may not be up-to-date, which is especially critical when converting between vector and bitmapped images (raster images) as these two architectures are entirely different (for details, see graphics).

In addition, the resulting image may no longer be edited anywhere near as easily later on. For example, converting from vector to raster eliminates the overlapping layers in the original drawing. The same occurs when a layered bitmap such as a Photoshop PSD file is converted to a single-layer JPEG image (see PSD).

The Target Format May Be Limited
Even with perfectly working conversion algorithms, there may be major differences in the new format. For example, if the original is a 24-bit JPEG and the target format is an 8-bit GIF, there may be noticeable color differences if there are many colors and shades in the original (see color depth).

The Programming Is Tedious
The graphics filters that perform the conversion from one format to another require tedious programming, which means import/export functions in an application may not be perfect. In addition, the filters may not be up-to-date, and the original image may contain attributes introduced in later versions of the format.




Vector to Raster
The vector image (top) did not translate properly to the JPEG image (bottom). If exact replication is required, be sure to test the application first. (Original image courtesy of Cedar Waxwing Design.)