Open AI File

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Vector Graphics Files

Vector files store graphics in vector format where all graphic objects are defined as a set of points on a 2D plane which are connected to form polygons, paths and other shapes. Each line between two points could be either straight or curved. Each curved line has a curvature and other properties defined. Also, for each straight and curved line stroke, color and line width could be defined. If path is closed (which means that the first point of the path is the same as its last point) then the color could be defined for the space located inside the path.

Vector graphics is key to areas of computing including CAD, animation, games, design, and many others. Throughout development of computers vector graphics came through different iterations with many forms of its representation and implementations. Initial implementations of vector graphics included air control and military. Certain monitors were designed based on vector graphics and capable of rendering vector graphics only. Sketchpad application developed by Ivan Sutherland which is though as one of the first and important examples of computer user interface was built based on vector graphics only.

Vector graphics could be stored in multitude of formats. Typically vector formats are object based with different objects representing possible vector objects like polygons, paths, text, bitmap images, etc. Each object can have multiple additional properties or associated objects like transformations, animations, clipping paths and filters. Vector objects are frequently combined into groups which makes vector file structure to be tree-like with objects having other objects as part of them. There are multiple ways how such tree-like structure could be implemented efficiently as part of file format. Some vendors chose to use proprietary formats (either text based or binary) to store object tree, while others use XML based formats for ease of use and compatibility.

Vector files formats could be converted to one another. But there could be certain difficulties in that because of the different types of objects and their properties which are supported by each format. Some formats could have object types or properties which other formats are missing. In this case during conversion these object types either are completely ignored or are rebuilt based on object types of supported types. That’s why it is often preferred to open a vector file in the same application which created it to make full feature compatibility.