Silhouette PixScan mat

A couple of months ago, Silhouette announced this new PixScan mat. I watched their video and instantly was hooked. (But I had to wait until they offered free shipping - shipping for my $15 mat was going to be over $11, yikes!). Here's a look at that video if you haven't seen it yet:
 

I received my mat a little over a week ago and I thought I'd share my results.

To sum it up, the PixScan mat allows you to take an image, scan it or take a photo of it, import the photo into the Silhouette software, and add cut lines so it will precisely cut out your image. For a stamper like me, this is perfect. No more having to buy custom dies for stamp images, I can do it myself.

Today I opened up the package, followed the directions...and pretty quickly had a problem. I was able to rectify it by a little research, but I didn't find that the package came with ALL of the instructions you need. Here's a few things to note:

First, Make sure you have the latest version of Silhouette Studio. The older version that I had, 2, doesn't work with PixScan.

Second, If you're going to do what I do, snap the photo with your iPhone instead of scanning the mat, you'll need to calibrate your PixScan with your iPhone camera (or other camera). The instructions that come with the mat do not mention this, and the error message that you get in the software when you just try to import your photo isn't all that clear what you need to do either.


Calibration is sort of easy - you print out the calibration sheet, take a photo with the camera you're using with your PixScan mat, and the software should calibrate your camera so that when you open your image, it will recognize the camera automatically. 

Here's where I ran into another (small) problem - the calibration instructions say to only have the dots in the window of the photo. So I snapped a photo, opened it in Photoshop, and cropped it. You apparently can't do this, because it changes the aspect ratio of the photo. So crop it on your phone using the same aspect ratio before you import it to your computer is my recommendation. Once I fixed that, the calibration worked.

The image I used was of this raccoon stamp from The Stamps of Life. I adore this stamp set, but this darn raccoon is a real pain to cut out by hand. I thought it would be perfect to try out the PixScan mat. Plus, I wanted to see how using a non-white surface would work.


 I imported the image into the software (after I'd completed that calibration, of course). It recognized my iPhone as the camera, and the image came up on the screen. I then traced the image, then I added an offset. Then, I deleted the original cut lines, so that all I had left was the offset. Then I just sent it to my Silhouette. It registered the mat and cut the image out with no issue. Success!


So, even after a few minutes of frustration to figure out the whole calibration nonsense, I am quite pleased with the result. I saved my cut file too, so that next time I stamp one of these I can easily just drag the cut lines onto the image rather than re-tracing it every time I need one.

What a genius idea from Silhouette! :)

3 comments:

  1. Wow.......this is amazing, not sure how I missed this announcement. Thanks for sharing about your issues, will be helpful.

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  2. Thanks for these specific instructions. My Pix Mat came this week too! I haven't update my SIL software yet. I heard mix reviews about the update so I was waiting. But this just threw me over the edge to update!

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  3. Thank you!! I instantly wanted this when they came out, but wanted to wait and see an actual review before buying one. This makes my mind up! :)

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