The Importance of Vector Graphics in Gobo Manufacturing

The Importance of Vector Graphics in Gobo Manufacturing
If you have ever called us at Projected Image, you are probably familiar with the question: "Do you have a vector version of the artwork, please?". For those of you who always wonder why we ask this question, hopefully this blog post will project some light on the situation.

What is a vector image?

To understand the principals of creating vector art for projection, you must first understand the way vector graphics are created and what separates them from their bitmap counter parts. As you may already know, the vast majority of digital images you see in your day to day routine are made up of a grid of pixels. This helps with defining colours and creating images that require a lot of detail in textures and shading, such as photographs and print. However, one of the downsides to bitmap images, is the limited resolution you get once a photo has been taken or an image has been exported into JPEG's or PNG files. Pixilation becomes an even bigger factor in the quality of your image when it comes to projecting artwork on a much larger scale.
Unlike a bitmap format, a vector graphic is constructed using coordinates that plot out each point within artwork. Using this method, we can create an image that can be scaled infinitely larger than the original copy without losing any detail whatsoever like a projection.
As you can see from this example above, the initial Bitmap Image is restrained by the number of pixels used to construct the artwork. On the other hand, we have the redrawn vectorised artwork, which retains detail no matter how much you zoom in. The second version of the artwork is ready to be used for one of our Gobos.

Why are vector graphics essential when producing Gobos?

LED Gobo projectors can be used to project images in excess of 20 meters in size in the right conditions, using gobos that are only the size of a small coin. As a result of this, any imperfections on none vectorised artwork, such as pixilation, can result in these imperfections being amplified on a much larger scale. A pixel when viewed on a screen is tiny. However, when projected on a large scale (as below), the size of this pixel will multiply and become visible to the naked eye.
This is where Vector Graphics come into their own. Using vectorised art work, we can create gobos that produce extremely clear image quality.

How we create vectorised art work for our Gobos

When Bitmap artwork needs to be converted into a Vector Graphic format, our team of graphic designers redraw the image by hand using Adobe Illustrator.

The time required to trace artwork from a Bitmap format can range from 10 minutes to 2 hours. It could take even longer, depending on the quality of the initial image and how complex the artwork is.

This is why we have to charge studio time when it comes to more complex designs. If you have any further questions about your artwork or this subject, contact us via email or ring us on 0191 265 9832