Graphics software (or graphics program ) is the generic term for software that is used in the graphics sector to create or edit images or for similar functions. These include, for example, image processing programs (image editor), painting programs and vector graphics programs (drawing editor).
There are two types of computer graphics: vector graphics and raster graphics . Vector graphics describe figures as a connection between different primitives , which are described with the help of algebraic geometry . Because of this, their enlargement does not result in any loss of quality. With the help of this principle, signatures and geometric figures are digitally saved; Raster graphics are made up of pixels . Because of this, the file size can be reduced in a compression associated with a loss of quality. With the help of this principle photographs are digitally saved. Because of their fundamentally different approaches, many programs have specialized in one of the two storage methods (e.g. GIMP on raster graphics and Inkscape on vector graphics).
Image editing programs
Image processing programs specialize in raster graphics (also called pixel graphics or bitmap graphics) and are used to create, improve, change and manipulate digital images. Image processing programs are mainly used to eliminate errors that have arisen during image capture and for image composition . Sometimes they also serve as painting programs.
For digital painting , programs with specialized functions are available for precisely this purpose. They are particularly suitable for the technical implementation of bitmap templates and have a variety of artistic functions. The data are mainly entered using a so-called graphics tablet and an input pen .
Vector graphics programs
Vector graphics programs are used to create drawings or illustrations as vector graphics . To this end, they offer functions for creating simple geometric shapes such as rectangles, circles or lines, but also more extensive functions for creating more complex shapes as well as color gradients and transparency effects. In contrast to image editing or painting programs, the objects within a drawing are not saved in the form of pixels, but as vectors. Therefore vector graphics can also be enlarged, reduced or rotated as required without having to accept any loss of quality. With raster graphics, on the other hand, you can see the pixels with excessive scaling ; in addition, artifacts and similar image errors are sometimes visible. A typical example of a vector drawing is a clip art .
In the desktop publishing area there are DTP programs for creating layouts . These programs are mainly used for producing large, multi-page documents. Products for example books, newspapers, catalogs, magazines, and brochures.
Computer graphics tools and software
In addition to image processing and vector graphics programs, graphics software includes numerous other useful programs that serve as aids or are used in various industries with different tasks. The functions of these auxiliary or additional programs partially overlap or supplement those of the image processing and vector graphics programs. Some of the additional programs are available as plug-ins , e.g. B. for Adobe Photoshop as well as a stand-alone version.
Pictures, picture viewer, picture management, picture search engine and picture shows
Images play an important role in graphics; they can be edited, managed or used in any other way, whereby copyright provisions must be observed. Numerous images can be found in so-called photo communities such as Fotocommunity.de , photo sharing websites, web galleries and image databases such as Wikimedia Commons , Flickr , Photobucket.com and fotocommunity.de . So-called image viewers are available for quick viewing of images or for minor image manipulations . Furthermore, images can be managed, labeled and sorted with image management software. There are also picture show programs that can be used to add effects to pictures, such as cross-fades, but also to add music and texts and then burn them to a medium (e.g. DVD , USB stick). The result can then be viewed on the television using a DVD player. With an image search engine , images can be searched for on the Internet by entering a keyword. With Screenshot programs Images from PC screen or a cut can be made the same. A digital picture frame is used to present pictures.
Graphics packages (English: graphics suite) are packages of several programs that are sold as a whole. Well-known graphics packages include Adobe Creative Suite , CorelDraw Graphics Suite, and Microsoft Expression .
An important aspect of image processing programs is the ability to expand functionality with so-called plug-ins . Additional graphic filters can be built in, which can then be called up in the program menu. With these filters, certain effects can then be achieved on the image, for example alienation .
Icon creation programs (also called icon editors) are used to create and edit icons .
The programs used in the field of high dynamic range imaging include:
- Adobe Lightroom - Windows & Mac
- Adobe Photoshop - Windows & Mac
- Affinity Photo - Windows, Mac, iPad
- DXO Google NIK HDR Efex
- Luminance HDR
- Oloneo HDRengine - Windows
- Oloneo PhotoEngine - Windows
- SilverFast HDR
- Skylum Aurora HDR - Windows & Mac
- HDR projects
- HDR shop
Powerful cameras such as B. digital SLR cameras can save images in the raw data format RAW , which contains significantly more of the original sensor information than the JPG format of the image files usually already interpreted and processed by the camera software. With RAW software , these images can be processed and corrected without loss.
Stitching software (also called panorama software) is used to create panoramic images. The software combines several individual images to form a panorama image .
Further auxiliary and additional programs for image processing
- Blur reduction programs
- Image protection programs that add a watermark to the photo or graphic
- File shrinking programs that reduce the file size to a preset level
- Noise reduction programs
- Programs for correcting geometrical distortions caused by the camera lens or the point of view of the picture (" converging lines ")
- Programs for changing the Exif data
3D programs / CAD programs
In the 3D computer graphics area, 3D graphics software is used to model objects in three-dimensional space and then to render them . The purpose is to create computer graphics or computer animations . There are also CAD programs for creating and constructing technical drawings , for example for architecture.
Special input devices
The graphics programs can be operated using the mouse and / or special input devices :
- For precise work, a graphics tablet is recommended, which with a sensor surface reacts precisely to pen movements and the pressure exerted and forwards this information to the program. This enables flowing lines and fine glazes . Graphics tablets can u. a. for digital painting or drawing, but also for text, whereby there are also input pens .
- Another option is to use tablet PCs . These have a graphics tablet, which is integrated directly in the display of the computer and thus allow direct painting / drawing on the drawing surface of the graphics programs.
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