REALbasic has a set of classes for manipulating graphic elements in an object-oriented way. Each object can be scaled, rotated, and configured, independently or in groups. These objects are represented mathematically, rather than as a set of pixels; this representation is known as ‘vector graphics.’ Vector graphics have a number of advantages over pixel (or ‘raster’) graphics. First, vector images can be scaled arbitrarily, without causing any jaggies or fuzziness around the edges. This is especially important when printing, where an image goes from a 72-dpi screen to a 1200-dpi printout. They can also be rotated without losing information. Finally, because the various components of a vector image are just objects, they can be broken apart and manipulated individually.
Vector graphics are ideal for things like block diagrams, charts, and graphs - anywhere you need graphics composed mainly of simple elements with nice clean lines. However, you may also use the vector graphics classes just to get a little more power for your traditional drawing. For example, if you need to draw a rotated string or picture, then vector graphics are the only way to do it in native RB.
The vector graphics classes may seem a little harder than the traditional Graphics methods at first, but the design is consistent and elegant. Once you get the hang of it, you may find you prefer to use them for all your 2D drawing needs.