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Aliasing In computer graphics, the undesirable jagged or stair-stepped appearance of diagonal lines in computer-generated graphic images

Anti-Aliasing The automatic removal or reduction of stair-step distortions in a computer-generated graphic image

App short for application

Application The use of a computer for a specific purpose, such as writing a novel, printing payroll cheques, or laying out text and graphics of a newsletter. This term is also commonly used nowadays to refer to the program which is used to perform the task. e.g. a Word Processing Application

Bit Binary digiT, The basic unit of information in a binary numbering system. Binary digits consist of 1's and 0's. The 1's and 0's are equivalent to on and off in a computer system

Browser an application such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera that enables you to traverse or "browse" the virtual on-line worlds of the Internet

CGI Computer Generated Images. This term is most widely used in the movie industry, where CGI allows the creation of scenes, or even complete movies, that were impossible to create only a few years ago

Compression A special format for a file that minimises the storage space required. Image compression is the use of a compression technique to reduce the size of a graphics file, which consumes inordinate amounts of disk space. There are two types of compression, lossy or lossless

Dither The adjustment of adjacent pixels of different colours to give the illusion of a third colour

Dots per inch (dpi) A measure of printer resolution that counts the dots that the device can produce per linear inch. Screen resolutions usually state resolutions in horizontal pixels by vertical lines, rather than stating a dpi figure

File size The amount of disk space that an image takes up

Image A computer generated picture (usually either in printed form or digital form on your computer screen)

Image size the physical dimensions of an image (height x width)

Layers Most modern graphics programs allow you to use layers. These are the computer equivalent of the clear acetate sheets used in cartooning. You can place an object, or a series of related objects on different layers. You can change the order of the layers, to move objects behind or in front of other objects. You can lock layers to prevent accidentally moving objects. You can also turn off or hide layers to allow you to concentrate on a certain section of your drawing at a time

Palette In computer video displays, the repertoire of colours that the system is capable of displaying. VGA colour displays offer a palette of 262,144 colours, although each screen can display a maximum of 256 colours simultaneously

Pixel The smallest element (a picture element) that a device can display on-screen and out of which the displayed image is constructed

Pixels per inch (ppi) The number of pixels in a linear inch, usually reserved for describing the resolution of a computer monitor or graphic image

Raster Graphics The display of graphic images using a collection of small, separate dots called a bit map. The graphic's resolution is limited by the capabilities of the display or printing device. Synonymous with bit-mapped graphic. Adobe PhotoShop is a popular image editor that rasterises images that it opens

Rendering The process of converting a 3D model, which is basically just a file which contains descriptions and vectors for objects, lights and cameras which make up a scene. During the rendering process, the program can add realistic textures to the objects, calculate the shadows cast by the various lights and create an image which can be indistinguishable from the real thing. The better rendering programs can also include effects such as fog or mist, and even simulate the depth of field effect produced by a camera lens

Resolution A measurement-usually expressed in linear dots per inch (dpi), horizontally and vertically-of the sharpness of an image generated by an output device such as a monitor or printer

Vector Image an image that is made up of mathematical formulas. The image can be scaled up or down without losing quality. Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand are two popular products that can create vector images

VRAM Video RAM, or memory

Web short for World Wide Web (WWW)

WWW acronym for World Wide Web