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Silhouette Pixscan Camera Calibration Tutorial

I recently got a new phone and all of the sudden Silhouette Studio was not recognizing my Pixscan images. The nerve....I love my Silhouette Pixscan mat! Truth is - I get emails about this Pixscan camera calibration error all the time - but it's hard to troubleshoot an issue you've never had.  The good news is I can finally tell you how to calibrate your camera or phone for Silhouette Pixscan...because I just had to do it.

Silhouette pixscan camera calibration

Calibrating your camera for Silhouette Pixscan is a multi step process.

Do I need to Calibrate my Camera for Silhouette Pixscan? 

You should first know that you may not even need to do calibrate your phone. With my original iPhone 5 I did not need to calibrate. I simply opened Silhouette Studio clicked "Import Pixscan Image from File" found my file and la-te-da everything worked as it should....

Silhouette Pixscan registration failure, calibrate, phone, camera error

But then I got an iPhone 6 Plus (big girl status) and when I went to import the image of my Pixscan mat into Silhouette Studio I got the dreaded calibration error.  This is when you know you need to calibrate.

Silhouette Pixscan registration error troubleshooting 

Using the Silhouette Pixscan Camera Calibration Test Card

In order to calibrate your camera you need to print out the calibration test card.  To find the calibration test card, click the down arrow next to "Camera Calibration" in the Pixscan window. 

You'll notice your phone is not listed there. 

Click "Show Calibration Test Card." 

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This will bring up a white rectangle in the work area with black dots all over it. 
Click the "Print" icon along the top tool bar and print out the sheet on your printer.

pixscan calibration test card, silhouette pixscan tutorial, pixscan help

Once it's printed, use your phone to take a picture of the test card. You want dots going all the way to the edge of the image you take. Do not get any background or even the edge of the sheet.  This is the exact picture I took of my sheet.

Email the image to yourself and download it onto your computer. 

Go back into Silhouette Studio. From the Pixscan window click the + sign under the Camera Calibration pane. This will bring up a pop up window where you can navigate to the image of your dotted test card.

Click 'Open'. 

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Once it calibrates correctly, your phone should be listed. You can rename it if you would like.

Now, with your camera selected, re-try to import a Pixscan image...and you'll notice that it will load the image.
calibrating phone silhouette pixscan, iphone, android pixscan

And after a few minutes of loading the Pixscan mat should appear in the work area.

silhouette pixscan mat tutorial troubleshooting help

That's all there is to fixing the Silhouette Pixscan registration error and calibrating the camera or phone.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

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  1. Thanks so much for this!! I just tried using my Pix Scan for the first time after I got it a year ago with my Cameo and couldn't figure out why the calibration kept failing. I was taking a picture of the calibration sheet ON the Pix Scan mat. *shrug* Made sense at the time. LOL

  2. Thank you! I got the PixScan mat but it came with very few instructions, and I wasn't sure how to get it calibrated. I'm glad to have it all set up!

  3. I found using the camera flash was super helpful in dealing with shadows!

  4. This was very helpful. I had to be sure not to cover any markings on the mat and not edit the image. After that the most time consuming part was matching cut lines for exiting images (trace).


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