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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Updated Review on PixScan

I don't know where to begin. I'll start with the scanner problem. I just wrote Silhouette to let them know that I still cannot get the scanner to work correctly and have exhausted all of my intellectual resources to try and figure it out. I've tried every bit of advice they have given me plus some ideas of my own. Sometimes, we just don't get the things we think we should get easily. I know others have done this with ease.

Let's move onto the camera. At first, I had a time getting just the right picture to calibrate my camera. Once, I learned the exact type of picture it will take it was easy as pie. Today, I calibrated my other computer, took pictures of some printed images I had never cut  out. I had printed them for some project I never did get around to finishing. I made sure to get them in lighting near a window and was careful not to cast a big shadow. PixScan can be "Pixy/ Picky" about big ol' Today, I took a picture of an image 12 times. This totally frustrated me and I just gave up for a moment. Well, shortly afterward I decided to try again. I made sure to take at least 3 pictures of these images to make sure I got a good shot. Well, low and behold; PixScan accepted the first photo I took. Good lighting is the key. Near a window is best as long as you don't cast shadows over the image.

 Even thought these were pretty clean images without a lot of other things around them, I found it difficult to get that just right auto trace so I did an internal offset, then I also did some node editing to get the cleanest cut lines I could get. The cuts were decent, but I always seem to expect perfection. I'm a bit too picky from time to time.

At this point, I don't think I'm going to be using PixScan for images since most of my images are digital and I love the Print and Cut features of Silhouette Studio V3 software. I think Studio V3 ...ROCKS!. I'll stick with scrap pieces of paper, vinyl, and fabric because I have lots of scraps and what a nice way to use them.

If I ever get the scanner portion to work or get it figured out; I'll make sure to give a report. This is my honest review. All of you may have an easier time of the auto tracing than I did, but for me, PixScan is going to be my way of using all of my lovely scraps. The perfectionist in me wants to see now white on the edges of any graphic. From time to time, I got white edges with the regular Print and Cut. Of course, I am no pro at the new PixSCan and may be doing something wrong or I may even need to do some calibrating. PixScan is still so new to me and I have a few things to learn. Again, I have to say; I love, love the PixScan for taking pictures of the scraps and finally using all of the scrap stash I have.

For those of you having problems with the camera calibration; I'm sharing a photo of what your picture should look like. In the beginning I thought I had to capture the entire letter size paper. It's just necessary to keep the calibration sheet in good lighting, take a "bird's eye view" Picture and when you do this, make sure those tiny dots look lined up nicely. I hope this will be helpful.

Note: ***If you have a Canon, Powershot SX 120 Is you can use this image to calibrate your camera.

Here are some photos of the image Pixscan accepted and how nice the trace lines were on my images. I was so disappointed to see any white after I spent the time I did to make sure they were perfect. Don't despair, I'm sure it is just a matter of some calibrating that needs to be done and there are so many cool ways to use PixScan.


  1. I also had a nightmare of a job trying to get a good photo yesterday and again this morning with my Smartphone (not so smart after all) LOL. In the end I managed it with my Camera but I'm not sure I'll be using the PixScan option although being in the UK where the mat's aren't available yet although I may change my mind when they are for sale here.

  2. Thank you for doing this review. I see this has having so many new ideas coming to Silhouette and I am excited about the possibility's this will open up. I have ordered my mat but it has yet to ship. Thanks so much again I value your honest opinion. Have a Blessed day Sharalyn

  3. Thanks for this review. I got my pixscan mat yesterday. I had alot of problems - so many frustrations!! I did get some decent cuts after alot of playing but it is like hit or miss on accepting pictures or even the machine registering the registration marks. I did get some really good cuts using the scanned in image (no good ones on the camera ones) it was just a tiny bit off. I did a regular print & cut to see if i needed to calibrate - my print & cuts were awful completely off & skewed. Tries in V2.9 works fine. ??????
    Could you test your regular print & cuts to see if yours is ok? Thanks!!

  4. Hi Sterling, I have tested my regular Print and Cut. It works fantastic for all of the images on the left hand side of my page, but seems to be a bit off on the right hand side. I know this sounds like strange behavior and I just sent an email to Silhouette about this issue. My first set of camera images (paper doll and clothes) were perfect and the others since have been slightly off; leaving white on the edges.I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my beloved PnC features so this really bothers me. Hopefully, I can figue out something to make them better. I know Silhouette has been extremely busy so I'm patiently waitig for things to slow down and hopefully get some better answers to these peculiar things.

    I have to say; I am jealous that you were able to get you some good scanned images. I've yet to get this part of PixScan to work well for me. Usually, I get the hang of things fairly quickly, but the scanner and PixScan have been my frustration. I totally understand how you must have felt when you were having problems. PixScan is a wonderful concept. I know I'll be using it to cut scraps of various media, but I would love to be able to get the scanning portion to work. Hugs, Debbie

  5. Hi Sterling, Here is something for you to try. This will probably fix your PnC regular cut issues.

    1. Close Silhouette Studio

    2. Clear preferences (if you need instructions, please let me know)

    3. Open Silhouette Studio

    4. Go to the “Send to Silhouette” screen

    5. Right-click and select “Calibration”

    6. Print out a calibration page and put it on your regular mat

    7. Move the blade with the arrows over to be near the cross mark and press the button to “Calibrate”

    8. Assuming it is spot on, leave it alone

    9. Exit out and try your print and cut job again

    Sometimes pushing through a single calibration test tells the machine that it is actually calibrated and corrects any concern. It’s like the machine is confused until the software tells it that it is supposed to be calibrated and the machine falls back in line.

    I hope this helps. Hugs, Debbie

  6. I was looking for the calibration setting yesterday but gave up. They hid it! Thanks for this. Print & cut working normal again. When testing i put the same images on the left & right sides of the paper (landscape) and I noticed the same thing you did - the right side is a tiny bit off - not much but when you cut the same image on both sides you can really see the difference. Thanks again.

  7. Debbie, I have read your article on pixscan again and again. I am having such problems with it. It's like a hit or miss. Only once did I get a good cut and this was on test paper. I really want to do some fussy cutting with some graphic 45 paper. I can't get the calibration correct. I have used my cell which is a Samsung Note 2 as well as my little sony. Can you offer any other advice? How can I manipulate the image? I am so lost. But hope you can help. TIA


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