There are a lot of different file types out there. Do you know the difference between a JPG and a GIF? What about a FLV and a MPEG? And what about a FGR? Okay, that last doesn't exist, but codecs do and we use them every single day! Here's a little breakdown of some common file types (see how many you know!).
JPEG/JPG: Joint Photographic Experts Group. This is your classic image file.
- compressed image file
- no transparent background
- can be compressed as needed, but quality decreases with compression
Vector graphics: instead of pixels, vector graphics are comprised of paths, which are defined by a start and an end point, curves, and angles along the way. This type of graphic (displayed above) can be recognized by its overall smooth appearance. It can be any size and its lines will still look smooth.
Raster files: a rectangular pattern of parallel scanning lines followed by the electron beam from a TV screen or a computer monitor. Essentially, this type of graphic only looks clean at a certain size. If blown up or zoomed in, the graphic's parallel lines are highly visible.
Video courtesy of This Girl Can.
Codec: a piece of software that can encode or decode a digital data stream or signal
- used for: audio/video compression, streaming video, videoconferencing, playing MP3s, screen capturing
- sometimes used to shrink files
And that's just the beginning! There are a lot of other file formats used daily on the Internet and in professions that make our ability to enjoy images and videos possible! You don't need to be a graphic designer to know about these formats. Knowing when and where use which file can help your overall enjoyment of the content that much more! Now excuse me while I enjoy this Graphics Interchange Format...
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