Unit 30 - Digital Graphics

Assignment One: Hardware & Software

Describe the hardware and software used to create and edit graphics.

Graphics Card-

The graphics card is a piece of hardware inside of the computer that produces the image shown on a monitor. The graphics card converts the data into a signals that the monitor can read, which allows it to render an image to the monitor.

Internal PC memory (RAM)-

This is a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly and this is any byte of memory that can be accessed without touching the proceeding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory to be found in computers.

Internal PC Memory (ROM)-

Read-only memory is computer memory on which data has been pre-recorded. Once data has been written onto the ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be read.

Hard drive-

The Hard drive is the computer’s main storage device that permanently stores all data on the computer. Most computer hard drives are in an internal drive bay at the front of the computer and connect to them motherboard using either ab ATA, SCSI, or SATA cable and power cable.


Central Processing Unit (CPU) is often referred to as the brain of the computer and the computer CPU is responsible for handling all instructions it receives from any hardware and software running on the computer. The CPU can have multiple cores that allows it respond faster and is able to handle more instructions than the minimum of one processor. The processors go up to a eight core which will enhance your computers performance by allowing you to have more programs running at the same time, as it can handle more instructions.

File Storage:

Hard drive-

The Hard drive is the computer’s main storage device that permanently stores all data on the computer. Most computer hard drives are in an internal drive bay at the front of the computer and connect to them motherboard using either ab ATA, SCSI, or SATA cable and power cable.


CD-ROM is an adaption of the the CS that is designed to store computer data in the form of text and graphics, as well as hi-fi stereo sound. However there is a difference in the way the data storage is organised. Two new sectors were defined, Mode 1 for storing computer data and Mode 2 for compressed audio or video/graphic data.


A Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a device used to store data that includes flash memory and an integrated interface. The majority of USB flash drives are removable and re-writable.

Flash cards-

A flash card is an electronic flash memory data storage device used for storing digital information. Flash cards are commonly used in portable electronic devices such as, mobile phones, tablets and game consoles.

Input devices:

Keyboard and mouse-

The mouse and keyboard are the most used input devices. Any movement or click on a mouse or any keys clicked on a keyboard sends a specific input signal to the computer. These commands allow you to open programs, drag objects, type messages and perform any other functions on a computer.


The printer will receive commands from the computer to print information that is on the computer onto a piece of paper that should be in the machine. There will be a print icon that you click to be able to print.


A scanner is a device that captures images from photographic prints, posters and similar sources for computer editing and display. They come in hand-held and flatbed types for scanning black and white or colour.

Digital Camera-

A camera that stores images digitally rather than recording them on film and once a picture has been taken, it can be downloaded to a computer system and then manipulated with a graphics program and printed.

Explain how different types of graphic images relate to file formats

Vector Graphics- This is the creation of digital images through a sequence of commands or mathematical statements that place shapes and lines in a given two dimensional or three dimensional space.

Bitmap Graphics- Bitmap images are stored as an arrangement of tiny dots known as pixels. Each pixel is a very small square and each have an individual colour, which are then organised in a pattern to form a whole image. However if you zoom in onto a bitmap image you will be able to see the pixels that it is made up from.

What is the difference between vector and bitmap?

The difference between the two is that vector images use geometrical formulas to represent images, they're also made up of objects. Graphical images created with bitmaps are made up of a pattern of dots know as pixels and each of the pixels have an individual colour. Using bitmaps you are able to edit each individual pixel and vector graphics can edit individual objects. The file size with vector graphics are small, as the computer stores details of objects of which do not require much memory. However bitmap graphics have a large file size, as the computer has to stores details of every pixel.

Lossy and Lossless compression-

These are terms used to describe whether or not all the original data can be recovered when the file is uncompressed. Lossy compression reduces a file by permanently discarding certain information, especially redundant information. When the file is uncompressed, there is only a section of the original information that remains. Lossy compression is generally used for video and sound.

However with lossless compression, all of the original data remains after the file is uncompressed. All of the information is stored. This is usually the technique of choice for text or spreadsheet files, where losing words or financial data could pose a problem.


Typical Use / Bitmap / Vector






  • relatively small file sizes

  • 16.7 million different colours

  • supported by a wide range of software programs


  • does not support transparency

  • does not preserve layers

  • lossy compression


Two dimensional digital images.



  • Pixel value can be modified individually or as large groups.

  • File may be easily created from existing pixel stored.

  • File may translate well to dot-format output devices such as printers.


  • This will lose image quality as it is scaled.

  • The files can be very large, taking up a lot of memory.


Graphics and logos


  • They are simple to make using an animation program and series of images.

  • They have a relatively small file.

  • File size can be reduced with too much distortion because it has lossless compression.

  • They do not require a web page to have a plug-in.


  • They have a maximum colour depth of 256 bit.

  • They can slow web pages down.

  • They can give an image a poor quality


Transparent images


  • Small compression loss.

  • Can have images with transparent backgrounds.

  • They have a small file size after compression.

  • It is possible to work with layers.


  • Can store more than one image into one file.

  • Does not support animation, unlike gif.




  • They have a small file size.

  • Can be scaled up and down without loss of clarity.

  • creates animated or images that can be changed with interfaces with JavaScript.


  • Can’t make overly complex images, such as photographs.

  • This is only supported in modern browsers.


Adobe Photoshop


  • Layers can be preserved.

  • Can save significant amount of file information, this is because of the large file size.


  • The files are large.

  • Not many programmes that aren’t Adobe Photoshop will understand, open or import PSD files.




  • They can be compressed to reduce the size of the file.

  • can embed colour space profiles.

  • The uncompressed image retains maximum amount of image data from the camera.


  • They have large file sizes.

  • Most websites don’t support Tiff uploading.

  • A computer with good specs is needed to process and load images.

M1 - Compare the limitations of different hardware and software packages used in graphics work


RAM- 512MB DDR2 and 8GB DDR3 memory

Having good RAM in digital graphics is most essential. If you have a 512MB DDR2, then most of the high ended digital graphics packages will have issues trying to run. The reason for this is because the images are large and programs such as Photoshop would struggle and crash often when using only 512MB, however there is smaller applications that will be fine. With 8GB RAM of which is ideal for digital graphics, will allow all digital programs run smoothly with no problems.


Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core Processor(3.0GHz,6MB Cache,1333MHz)
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Quad Core Processor(2.66GHz,12MB Cache,1333MHz)

The duo core has more clock speed per core, but it only has two as opposed to quad which has four cores. Therefore the quad core processor will have the fastest clock speed in total. The quad core has double the cache size as the dual core processor. So overall the quad core processor is the more powerful out of the two. With the more powerful processor, more processes can be used at once. One example of this is Adobe Photoshop, the quad core processor will load the tools quicker and is able to manipulate the image quicker.


Adobe Photoshop and Paint-

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most advanced programs in digital graphics. Photoshop has a wide range of tools and various manipulation techniques, with this program you can apply gradients contrast, masks, layers and more.All of the tools used in Photoshop are specialised and are the latest ways of graphic production and manipulation.

However Paint is a basic program, all of the tools and techniques are very basic such as, the pen tool, the spray tool, the smudge tool and the tool to add text. Paint does not have the capabilities to produce advanced graphics. But Paint is a free download and comes readily installed with windows desktop, whereas Photoshop comes at a charge and can be quite expensive. The more popular option is Photoshop as it is far more advanced, allowing people to create better quality images. It is also the one of the most used programs in the digital graphics industry.

Task 3 - Evaluate the impact of evolving output mediums on the design and creation of graphic images