Sunday, August 10, 2014

Silhouette PixScan Calibration Tutorial for Cameo

Hello everyone!  Today I want to share with you some things I learned as I set up my Cameo to use the new PixScan cutting mat this weekend.  I think these tips will help you if you plan on using this new cutting mat and a camera (instead of a scanner).  Visit the following tutorials on using your PixScan once you've set yours up:


So, here's what you need:
The first thing you need to do after getting the new version of Studio is to click on the PixScan icon:


The PixScan area will show up with the PixScan menu area on the right-hand side.  Click on the arrow to the left of "Import from File".  Ignore my stamped images for now :)...


You will see the Camera Calibration area:



Click on the arrow to the left of "Camera Calibration" and click on "Show Calibration Test Card".



This will populate a dotted sheet in the drawing area:



You need to print this sheet out.  Now, when I printed it, there were a couple of rows that had dots not evenly spaced and it looked like my printer had messed up.  But I printed it out on another printer and it was the same, so I decided to try it.

Your next step is to place the printed calibration sheet onto the PixScan mat and then take a picture using the camera you wish to calibrate.  Make sure you are on a flat surface and you take the photo as straight-on as possible.

Important!  For this step, you next need to go into your photo and crop it so that the photo is ONLY the dotted area (no mat or anything else included in the photo)...note: it doesn't have to be the COMPLETE dotted area -- it can be a portion.  BUT -- and this is important (and I learned the hard way) -- you must crop this in the same aspect ratio as your camera takes photos or it will not calibrate correctly.

Once you've cropped the calibration sheet and saved it on your computer, click on the plus sign in the bottom right of the calibration area:



and navigate to and choose your calibration file when the window opens.

Once you open it, Silhouette will begin calibrating.  If there's problems with the calibration, it will tell you what may be wrong (and you may have to take a new photo of the calibration sheet on the PixScan mat).  If it's successful, you will see your profile pop up.  Modify if you want (I put my name at the beginning of the profile), and then save the profile.

Now you are ready to use the PixScan mat!  I tested it using a few stamped images.  First take a photo of your images on the PixScan mat.  For this, you have to make sure your image shows the full PixScan mat with the images.  It should be on a flat surface, and you should try to take the photo straight-on (or as close as possible).

Here's what mine looked like:



And it didn't matter that it was rotated sideways and had extra stuff beyond the PixScan mat!  So click on "Import PixScan Image from File":



Choose your image file and hit "Open".  Silhouette Studio will process the image, and then you will see a screen like this on the right:



And like this in the drawing area:



You are now ready to choose the images, trace the edges, and cut as you normally would! It's very important that you don't move the images on the PixScan mat after you have imported the photo because the cut won't be accurate if the placement has shifted on the mat.

I hope you found this tutorial useful...I've been having a lot of fun with it and am so happy for this new feature!

Have a great, crafty week,
Majken

60 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for your detail calibration instruction.
    Just hope soon we can come up how to replicate the mat.

    Sorry if I double post, but couldn't see my first comment.

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    1. Glad you found it helpful!! And thanks for visiting. :)

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  2. I thought I read that iPhone 4S and above didn't need to be calibrated. It was on a list of all devices that didn't need this step....I think from Silhouette, but I can't find it now.

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    1. Lizfoxdesign.com, I tried not calibrating and it didn't work. I don't recall the error it have me though. I didn't see anything in the Silhouette literature that mentioned specific phone cameras. If you find that, let me know!

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  3. Maybe I'm just slow, but I can't figure out how to get the SAME aspect ratio for my Iphone calibration and the photos I take. What could I be doing wrong??? Any help appreciated!!

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    1. Hi Susan! It's not hard, but it's not intuitive either. I'm giving instructions from my iPhone 5. Not sure how similar these instructions are for a different version iPhone, but hopefully this helps.

      First, open the photo in the Camera Roll you want to crop. Next, hit "Edit". Then in the bottom right corner you see the cropping icon - click it. Next move the crop lines from the corner as close to where you want to crop it. Next, hit "Aspect" underneath the photo and choose "Original". Then hit "Crop" in the top right and then hit "Save" in the top right.

      Please let me know if this works for you. Have a great weekend!

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  4. Thank you for this in-depth tutorial. This has been instrumental in helping me get my Christmas cards completed with my new Cameo.

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    1. Awesome, Robin!! Glad it helped you. Merry Christmas!

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  5. Please help. I have calibrated my cell phone with the dots, but when I take a picture of my items on the pixscan mat, it tells me that it can not detect the pixscan markings. Does anyone know what I am doing wrong. There is nothing outside the lines.

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    1. Hi Kristy! I hope I can help. For that step, you have to make sure your image shows the full PixScan mat with the images. It should be on a flat surface, and you should try to take the photo straight-on (or as close as possible). It's okay if the photo includes images from your table even! I have also heard some say that the only way they could get past this point was to take a photo with the lights out and using their flash. I don't know if that will help, but it's worth a try. Good luck!

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    2. Kristy, I just encountered this error. I actually tried several times and got the same error (this was after trying different photos, using dark room with flash on, etc.). I finally decided to rotate the mat around 180 degrees so the arrow on the PixScan mat was pointing the opposite direction and it worked. And that was the only thing I changed that time. I'm thinking my lighting just washed out that arrow or one of the registration markings slightly and gave that error. I hope this helps!

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    3. None of this worked for me. I finally decided to open the image in Photoshop and increase the contrast to a very high level, and this time it worked!

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  6. Please help. I have calibrated my cell phone with the dots, but when I take a picture of my items on the pixscan mat, it tells me that it can not detect the pixscan markings. Does anyone know what I am doing wrong. There is nothing outside the lines.

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    1. Kristy, make sure your photo includes the entire mat. If that doesn't work, I've seen others say the only way they could get it to work was to take a photo with the lights out and the flash on (weird IMO!). Good luck!

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  7. Do you have to calibrate when using a scanner?

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    1. Great question! Because the calibration is needed to correct for distortion caused by imperfections in camera lenses, you do not need to calibrate when using a scanner.

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  8. How long does the program usually take to calibrate? Mine seems to be taking a long time!

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    1. Tricia, I don't recall it taking too long. If several minutes have gone by, I'd try again. Good luck!

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    2. Tricia, I just had to recalibrate because I had to reinstall Windows and Silhouette Studio on my laptop. It only took a few seconds. Hopefully you got support from Silhouette and are creating!

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  9. aha finally cracked it Thank you!
    It kept crashing so I went back and reluctantly meticulously read your instructions and sure enough I'd missed a stage ( clicking the plus sign) I'm very lazy about reading and had relied on the pics 1st time. Thanks

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    1. Mary, I'm so glad you found this helpful!! Thanks for the kind words...Enjoy the new world! :)

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  10. ps I've had the Cameo a few years and this is the first time I've cut accurately. This tutorial has been more helpful than anything on the Cameo site. I'm going to tell them.Thank you again for your generous spirit. No looking back now. I've a new world to discover

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  11. help! mine says the photo contains no exif data, the resulting profile can be selected manually but not auto

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    1. Hi Jennifer! I've not encountered that particular error message. If you got the message while trying to calibrate, try following http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/faq/solution/pixscan-calibration. If you got the message while trying to get it to recognize the image, try following http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/faq/solution/pixscan-image-recognition-issue. I hope these help!

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    2. I had the same message, and I figured out that my iPhone strips out what's called metadata when I email it to myself. I think it always strips it out, so I got an app called Photo Investigator, which lets me see metadata for all my photos.

      If you don't know what metadata is, it's all the stuff like GPS location, time, date, the type of camera used, etc., that attaches to a photo. When I sent the photo to myself using the Photo Investigator app, it kept the metadata attached. I re-added it to the Silhouette calibration thing, and it was able to identify the photo as one take by an Apple iPhone. From now on, the software will be able to automatically identify any pictures taken with my phone and match it to that calibration image.

      I hope that helps.

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  12. I ended up scanning it from my printer. It calibrated the camera but never the image. As long as I use a smaller piece of paper it worked. Thanks for the tutorial! By far the best explanation!

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  13. i have tried and tried and tried and cannot get my camara to calibrate. I tried all that others suggested. Please help!

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    1. jezebel, I will try. What step are you getting stuck at?

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    2. Ok so I tried 3 different cameras, and my iPhone and regular camera I can't get past the fist part of calibration. With my iPad I get past first part then when I hit the plus sign it won't go any further. Is using the pixscan mat necessary for calibration since it's not in the picture?

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    3. Hi Jezebel. No the mat really isn't necessary for the calibration portion with the dotted paper. As long as you are on a flat surface, take the photo as straight on as possible, and if you crop it, crop using the same aspect ratio as the original photo. If you've tried all that and still have problems, I think your best bet will be Silhouette customer support.

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  14. So after multiple pictures I finally got it calibrated and it has worked great. Precise cutting I'm so impressed. Here's my problem and maybe you can help. When I'm don't and I go to close Silhouette software program it crashes. Not sure why but I have to force it closed. So next time I have to use picscan I have to start over and calibrate again. So frustrating. Do you have to calibrate each time or just once? Not why this is happening. Any suggestions would greatly appreciated.

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    1. How frustrating, Michelle!! You should only have to calibrate once (unless you change to a new camera). I'm wondering if uninstalling and then re-installing the Studio software would help. It's a little time consuming and you may have to re-download all your purchased cuts, but maybe it would fix the problem. I've not encountered that problem, but calibrating should be a one-time process. If that doesn't fix it, you might reach out to Silhouette support directly.

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  15. Ok. I thought it had to be done only once. I have uninstalled and reinstalled the program. I will have to contact them directly. Certainly a glitch but glad to know its not me. :)

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    1. You uninstalled and reinstalled and it still is crashing? So sorry! Good luck - hope they can get you fixed up!

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  16. THANK YOU!!!!! I called Silhouette and they didn't know what to tell me. After many hours and headaches and videos, I happened upon your instructions and it worked like a charm! Silhouette leaves out information that you were kind enough to put in. They should hire YOU!

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    1. Thank you, Valerie! I'm thrilled that you found my tutorial helpful!

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  17. I got my phone calibrated no problem and my picture imported and I made my cut line. My problem is I can't get the machine to accept the mat. I load the pixscan mat into my cameo and when I try to cut the machine tells me it failed to read the registration marks. Any ideas?

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    1. Hi Conlin664, glad you got everything calibrated! But, the message you are getting could be several things. I'll point you to the Silhouette FAQ page on Print & Cut to check out (The print & cut feature is very similar to the PixScan feature so hopefully one of the issues will help you!).

      http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/printer-friendly/faq/registration-mark-reading-or-print-cut-misalignment-issue

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  18. hello does the calibration sheet /have/ to be sent to the printer to print through the software or can i save it as a jpg/pdf and print it on a printer through a thumbdrive? im asking this as i do not have a printer linked to my computer and would like to print the sheet elsewhere.

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    1. Hi Megan! I think if you are able to save it or even "print to .pdf" onto your thumb drive then that would work. Let us know if you are successful!

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  19. Not sure what I did differently last time, might have been the cropping the calibration page in a different aspect ratio, BUT followed your steps and the PixScan worked perfectly! My stamped images got cut correctly! Amazed at how well the image got cut; not off center; not more white space on one side than the other; just right. Thank you!

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  20. Hi, I've been reading all your wonderful helpful tutorials on using pixscan. I have gotten my samsung phone calibrated but when I import my image I keep getting the calibration profile is not compatible with the pixscan photograph being imported because of different aspect ratio. Can you tell new what I need to do to correct this..Thanks in advance

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  21. Hi, I've been reading all your wonderful helpful tutorials on using pixscan. I have gotten my samsung phone calibrated but when I import my image I keep getting the calibration profile is not compatible with the pixscan photograph being imported because of different aspect ratio. Can you tell new what I need to do to correct this..Thanks in advance

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    1. Hello Joyce, Hoping some of the following helps: make sure you are using regular photo mode (not square or panoramic mode, etc). Also, do not crop or resize the photo after you take it. As you take the photo, make sure all the outside edges of the mat are included in your photo. Let me know if this helps!

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  22. Thank you soooooo much!!! It was a very detailed tutorial and helped me make no mistakes at all!!

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  23. Hi your instructions helped me tremendously with calibrating , but here is my problem. I keep getting an error after proceeding yo clip. One issue I have is I do not have the option for the pixscan mat . When I go to page settings and try to change the mat type to cameo pixscan it's just not included. I've looked everywhere to find info and heard others say they have the same issue but no one has provided a resolution . Maybe you can help ?

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    1. Hi Aimee! I'm glad the tutorial helped get your camera calibrated! I just looked in my Studio software Page Settings and I also do not have the PixScan mat option. I don't think you need it. Once you import the photo of what you are cutting on the PixScan mat, it automatically shows up and knows you are using it. That's what I think. Go ahead and try to take a photo of what you want to cut on the mat and import it - you can follow the instructions I have here for cutting a pattern from patterned paper. https://chocoscrapaholic.blogspot.com/2015/04/silhouette-pixscan-tutorial.html

      Good luck and let me know how that goes!

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    2. Hi Aimee, working on a project today and I remembered I wanted to try PixScan after my reply last night. So I stamped an image, took a photo, imported it in using the PixScan feature, traced the image, and Sent to Silhouette. It worked fine - I guess it knows now that the mat will be PixScan when you send it. I did upload to the latest version of the Silhouette Studio software earlier today (v3.7.227), so maybe try that before your next attempt. I wish you fast cutting!!

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  24. I was able to calibrate properly but once I take a picture of what I want to cut, the image won't upload to studio. It just kinda sits there in the "loading image" spot and I never get an error message. Could I have calibrated wrong?

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    1. Hi secondhelpincatering. I haven't encountered that issue, but I am wondering if you rotate the mat 180 degrees and make sure your lighting is bright and even if that will help it load fully and correctly. I have issues with lighting sometimes, and I've even had to turn the lights out and use my flash when taking the photo for a better photo. I hope these tips help you!

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    2. Sorry for the screen name, I'm Whitney :)
      I ended up rotating the mat 90 degrees from my original picture and the arrow facing away from from me. That did the trick! Thank you for your tips!

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    3. Whitney, you're welcome! I don't know why PixScan is so picky, but I'm so glad that worked!! :)

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  25. I am trying to use my Pixscan mat. I have all my calibration done - I have my image in there with the import from file option - everything looks good....but I have no option for my pixscan mats. It is only showing my cameo mats and curio mats - nothing to do with pixscan at all. My software is up to date. What am I missing. I am sure it is something completely stupid but I am tired and really can't read thru one more tutorial :(

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    1. Hi Crystal! I think this changed since PixScan was introduced because it used to show the PixScan mat. Now, once you import the photo of what you are cutting on the PixScan mat, it automatically shows up and knows you are using it. So you shouldn't have to choose a different mat. It must know now that the mat will be PixScan when you send the photo. Good luck!

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  26. Thank you for this tutorial! I just started using a PixScan mat and this made it go so smoothly!

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    1. Carlene, I'm so very glad!!! Enjoy the mat!

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  27. Hi ive calibrated and the image is there. When i go to kiss cut my labels, the register is way off. Ratio is same for pic and calibration sheet. Ive also calibrated the machine. Help

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    1. Colin, make sure you didn't move the sheet on the mat after you took the photo - moving it would make the alignment be off. The other thing to watch is aligning the mat to the left marker that shows where the mat should go, as well as double check that the rollers haven't been moved.

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