Describe the hardware and software used to create and edit graphic images and compare the limitations of different hardware and software packages used.
I am working for a design company that needs to advice new staff on what is required to work in the industry. I will produce a report that explains the role of the following in producing and editing digital
Working with graphic images requires suitable hardware and software to produce the best results. The hardware used can have a large impact on how well graphical images show. Suitable hardware for a graphics system should include several components at appropriate performance levels.
A graphics card is type of display adapter or video card installed within most computing devices to display graphical data with high clarity, colour, definition and overall appearance. Graphics card provides high-quality visual display by processing and executing graphical data using advanced graphical techniques, features and functions. It is needed to produce a display that meets the needs of the user within what the monitor can be capable of. It works by taking information from the operating system which specify what needs to be shown onto the screen and makes this isn’t a signal that the display understands. Graphic designers value digital visual interface connections between the graphics card and the monitor as it gives a better picture. They usually work with 32-bit colour depth which gives true colour.
Despite being incredibly important in the display, there are limitations. With higher resolutions and colours, there may be a reduce in speed, which could be big or small depending on the hardware and the resolution that is set up. This is due to there being more information to deal with as well as more pixels to update on-screen. The higher you set your resolution, the smaller your icons and text, and your refresh rate drops. This may be a big limitation to graphic designers who want to make high quality graphics.
Also graphics cards can also cost thousands of pounds, require a lot of space and draw a lot of power from the power supply.
RAM stands for random access memory, a type of that can be randomly. This means that any of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in and other , such as . RAM is used to hold the running software and graphic images. There is a constant flow of data between the hard disk, the Ram and the processor. When a software application is run, the program is first copied from the hard disk to RAM. Once in RAM, the program can travel at high speed to the processor where the program code can be run. Graphic files can be very large and therefore everything that the hardware can do to make rapid transfers help.
Some motherboards have limited space for RAM cards which means small RAM cards may have a small capacity and may be slower than other RAM cards. Having little RAM will cause programs such as Photoshop to run very slowly.
Another main limitation of RAM is that it is volatile memory meaning that when the power goes off, the information is gone. This means there is always risk of losing data.
There is also a lot of time wasted loading an operating system. You load the same things each time you push the power on. It would be better if the RAM was non-volatile and kept the data in memory all the time without having to load it. An alternative option to resolve this issue is non-volatile RAM but it is very slow.
A hard disk drive is a device that permanently stores and retrieves information. A hard drive consists of one or more to which data is written using a magnetic head, all inside of an air-sealed casing. hard disks reside in a connect to the a cable or other alternative means, and are powered by a connection to the (power supply unit). Sometimes the driver for the graphics card is stored on the hard drive. Therefore the hard drive can have a direct impact on the graphics of the device.
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There are some drawbacks in some hard drives; cheaper ones have lower RPMs meaning that getting data off them takes longer. Hard disks eventually fails which stops the computer from working and regular crashes can damage the surface of the disk which will lead to loss of data in that sector. The disk is also fixed within a device which means it cannot easily be transferred to another computer. Lastly, they are very expensive and disk hard drives are prone to breaking when moved in operation.
A flash drive can be in many way but the main, most used way is USB. This is a small portable card that plugs into a computers and functions as a portable . USB flash drives are easy-to-use as they are small enough to be carried in a pocket and can plug into any computer with a USB drive. USB flash drives have less storage capacity than an external hard drive, but they are smaller and more durable because they do not contain any internal moving parts. Flash drives are great for graphic designers to back up or transfer their projects.
Flash drives are a very convenient way to store your information. With the invention of these small, affordable drives, users can easily transport essential information from one computer to another. However, there are disadvantages to these easy to use drives.
The strength of USB flash drives may be their weakness. Because the drives are designed to be as small as possible to assist portability, it also means that they are much easier to lose and break.
The flash drive's design usually involves a retractable USB plug. This may damage or break the USB and because little protects the flash drive, there is also the potential for bending of the soft metal of the USB plug, which renders the device useless.
Lastly, over time flash drive files can become corrupted and unreadable. This may be a result of sharing the drive with many different computers and computer systems. Some companies, like USB Drive Recovery.com, offer drive recovery software that may correct the corruption and rescue lost files, but there are no guarantees.
A digital camera images rather than recording them on film. Once a picture has been taken, it can be to a , and then manipulated with a and printed. Professionals who work with digital graphics often need to bring pictures from a digital camera into the computer system. There are four methods for doing this, cable, card, wireless and cradle.
Most digital cameras have a cable to connect the camera to a computer so that pictures can be transferred; it is likely to be USB but recently FireWire and WIFI can be used. Every digital cameras on the market use a flash card to store the pictures. There are many different cards that can be used that have different sizes and connections. Some examples include, SD, Memory stick, XD and SM. Cameras that offer WIFI connection to a network and now also available. This allows a fast data transfer of the pictures without any cabled or to remove the memory card. A cradle is alike to most hardware because it will need a driver so it works properly.
One of the main disadvantage of using a digital camera is the way photos are stored. It’s important to make backups because one computer crash is all it takes to delete your images.
The storage of photos are fragile and prone to damage, and so is the digital camera itself. Usually made of plastic, digital cameras are very prone to shocks when dropped.
Another disadvantage of digital cameras can be the cost. A good digital camera can cost a lot and may not be for those who are starting out.
But one of the main disadvantages is the battery. A digital camera uses more energy than non-digital cameras, so for long photo sessions, digital photographers need to have a lot of spare batteries ready.
A graphics tablet or alternatively referred to as a drawing tablet and pen tablet, a graphics tablet is a input device that enables an artist to draw or sketch digitally using a pen or . They are helpful because they provide a more natural and precise feel than a standard computer . The picture to the right shows an example of a Pen Graphics Tablet from . Graphics tablets are widely used within graphic design due to allowing you having more creative freedom.
Graphics tablets are difficult to use for a beginner. For someone that has no experience on using a graphics tablet are likely to find it hard to get the hang of it as it is different to using a mouse. It can also be tricky to access menus and good hand to eye co-ordination is needed so a lot of practice is needed.
Also they can be very expensive to buy. They can vary in price, the cheaper ones are of lower quality and the high quality are very expensive but will increase the quality of your drawings. Graphic tablets can cost up to £2000.
Graphic tablets can also be easily broken. This is a major disadvantage especially if you spent a lot of money on one. The screen can break easily if the tablet is dropped and another frequent reason for the tablets breaking is that they become waterlogged if someone spills a drink over it.
A mouse is a hand-operated electronic device that controls the coordinates of a cursor on your computer screen as you move it around on a pad; on the bottom of the device is a ball that rolls on the surface of the pad knowing where to go. It’s important for everyone using a computer not just graphic designers to use a mouse as it’s the way you can navigate on the computer.
There are not many limitations to using a mouse. Although, using a mouse is hard to draw and therefore may not be suitable for all graphic designers where a graphics tablet may be better suited.
A mouse also requires space in order to use it which may not be suitable for everyone in every environment.
It also needs to be cleaned regularly or it will get clogged with lint and dust. If it’s not cleaned it will not work properly or be slow responsive.
Lastly, the cord on most mice can get hung up and drag, making the mouse difficult to use. But this can easily be resolved with wireless mice.
A scanner is a device that captures images from photographic prints, posters, magazine pages, and similar sources for computer editing and display. Scanners come in hand-held, feed-in, and flatbed types and for scanning black-and-white only, or color. Very high resolution scanners are used for scanning for high-resolution printing, but lower resolution scanners are adequate for capturing images for computer display. Scanners usually come with software, such as Adobe's Photoshop product, that lets you resize and otherwise modify a captured image. Scanners are useful graphic designers who prefer to draw on paper and transfer electronically.
The quality of the scanned output can vary, depending on a number of factors. Some of these factors include the quality of the lens inside the scanner, how clean the scanner glass is and the condition of the original documents.
Scanners are also relatively slow, so companies. Automatic feeders can help to speed production, but it can still take a great deal of time to scan a stack of documents. It is not unusual for pages to stick together when going through the automatic document feeder, so operators will need to be trained to watch for these problems.
A printer is an device responsible for taking electronic data stored on a computer or computing device and generating a of that data. Printers are one of the most commonly used peripherals on computers and are commonly used to print text and photos.
Printers can be expensive over time. Depending what printer you buy determines the start and ongoing costs. Different inks and tonners cost different amounts and also the difference lead to difference in the quality. Also the amount of printing you do determines how much you need to spend on paper.
Printers also have environmental concerns due to the amount of paper used. Not only are that but toner and ink made with chemicals that can also cause environmental damage.
A plotter is a printer that interprets commands from a computer to make line drawings on paper with one or more automated pens. Unlike a regular , the plotter can draw continuous point-to-point lines directly from files or commands.
Although plotters offer many advantages, if you are working with limited space, you may have a difficult time finding the right location for your plotter. They take up more space than regular printers.
Plotters can take over half an hour to produce a print, depending on the size and complexity of the image being produced.
Lastly, they also are more expensive than normal computers.
A computer system needs a monitor or display so the user can see what is happening. Older monitors have used CRT technology which has many disadvantages, especially the space the monitor occupies and the heat produced.
Monitors emit extremely low frequency (EFL) radiation and microwave radiation, which are harmful to human health. These types of radiation have electromagnetic properties that penetrate solids, including the human body. People who stay in front of monitors for long can develop many heath issues.
Monitors are costly to buy and maintain and limits an individual or a company's ability to acquire them. Monitors require frequent monitoring to ensure that the drivers are computer virus free and are working properly. Malfunctioning monitor drivers can hinder efficient performance of certain software applications and this can lower the quality of work done using the monitor.
CRT monitors have low refreshing ability known as the flickering effect. This lowers productivity because the user has to wait for some time for the monitor to respond to a command. The flicker effect can also make you lose interest when performing computing tasks that require heavy software applications such as video game programming or web design.
Vector graphics (Illustrator)
Adobe Illustrator is a developed and marketed by . The latest version, Illustrator CC, is the seventeenth generation in the product line. Adobe Illustrator is a program used by both artists and graphic designers to create vector images. It is typically used to create illustrations, charts, graphs, logos, diagrams, cartoons of real photographs, and more.
There are limitations to using Illustrator. One of the main limitations of vector image is time consuming and also specific talent must be needed to create it. Therefore, it may not be suitable for all people and users will need to learn a lot of the software before they can produce good quality work.
Photographs cannot be taken as vector images. It must be drawn by the artist, and must then be edited in software like adobe illustrator and also can only be scaled up to 20% larger or smaller. If reduced too much the thin lines in vector images may disappear. This may not be suitable for every graphic designer, especially though who are more computer based rather than drawing on graphic tablets.
Lastly, the location of each vector needs to be stored separately which can be time consuming and over time may get disorganised and hard for users to find each vector.
Software bitmap creation software (Photoshop)
Some bitmap graphics applications are used specifically for editing images, some specifically for creating bitmaps and others are combination of both, an example is Adobe Photoshop. Bitmap graphics software applications are known by several names such as raster graphics editors, image editors and paint packages. Editors allow for the editing and manipulation of individual pixels in a bitmap graphic. Most bitmap graphics software applications can also be used to create Meta graphics.
Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard image editing and bitmap creation package for professional developers and designers. Photoshop is used to create formats for both print and screen design. More recent versions include the 'Save for Web' option which allows users to compare the results of saving different formats, compressed file sizes download times on different internet connections.
The main disadvantage of software bitmap creation software such as Photoshop is the cost. Photoshop software costs a lot more than most other photo editing software because of the larger range of tools.
Despite the fact that its quick-edit features are simple to use, this software was not built for the novice user. It is photo-editing software designed for professionals who edit photos regularly and it may be difficult for beginners to start using it and may be very time consuming for those people.
Adobe Photoshop requires a well-equipped computer, It is a heavyweight program, and many of the tools are computationally intensive. It takes up a large space of room on your computer as well as RAM memory and may not be for every computer.
Overall, there are lots of hardware and software that need to be used to create and etic graphic images. But, all have limitations that should be considered when picking the best for the job you need it for.