View Full Version : The PS4 PS Camera guide

01-02-2017, 06:26 AM
Hello there (woohoo this is my first post in the forum!).
-This guide's been vastly updated since the last weeks of December 2018-
Puedes encontrar una versión en español en los foros hispanohablantes clickeando aquí (https://forums-es.ubi.com/showthread.php/10779-Gu%EDa-para-la-C%E1mara-de-PS4)
I've seen that players with PS Camera here are the minority because it's the hardest to get working properly, am I right? I've experimented with it since the release of 2017 (because I got it only for Just Dance competitively) and with the help of other amazing camera players, I've written and improved this guide. It's apparently popular belief that the PS4 Camera is the worst thing ever... you're not wrong but neither right; let's face it, it's extremely demanding and fragile because only in the right conditions, it's completely possible to hit scores above 13,300, proven by me and other players for the last World Cup qualifiers, so please don't ever give up if you're trying to master this thing: YOU CAN.

Recommendations before getting a PlayStation Camera:
A capacious playing room. Contrary to the Kinect, this camera can't get used to very closed spaces. It needs plenty of space to work well, I'd say at least 10ft x 10ft (3m x 3m): 6.5ft (2m) of separation between player and camera. If any of this space is used by furniture, have some extra space where you can transport them.
Good lighting in your room. No matter what time of the day, using light bulbs or not, your room must be regularly lightened in most places without leaving much spaces darker than others.
ONLY GET IT FOR A GOOD REASON: It's no joke how complex this camera is due to how long I had to write this guide, it's an effective gameplay tool but it's also the most frustrating out in all Just Dance consoles. The PlayStation Move is without doubt the most versatile controller for the PS4 but if you can't find one, and you can't use your phone as a controller, be aware that getting the hang of it takes time and a ton of patience.

These are all recommendations based on how the camera works, BUT, each cam works slightly different than the others and may vary depending on the room set up, so if any of these points are not helping you, never stop experimenting with it. Here are the points you should try:
As the game suggests, it needs "at least" 5ft (1.5m) of height to get a proper view of your body, but to find it a specific height based on your size may be the key.
For example, I'm 1.65m (5.3ft) tall and my PS Camera used to have problems if I put it on 5ft (1.5m) or even at the top of my TV, which is 3.6ft (1.1m). I say the best height you should put it is at one half of the height of your body, for me the best height I could get for it to work was 3.3ft (1m).
Note: You can set the height easily with a tripod, that's how I do it with mine.
The camera's only problem is trying to recognize very short kids like 4ft (1.2m) or less, unless you set the camera at a height only for them. However, if you want to play with your kids, check the troubleshooting section at the bottom of the guide.

The light in the room must be well spread to not let some corners shadowy, sometimes the camera can mistake them for players as well as close furniture that messes a lot with the overall light distribution.
As the game suggests, there must not be any light pointing directly to the camera (it must not see the source of artificial or natural light directly). That also counts mirrors or stuff reflecting light into the camera's eye.
If the light bulb in your room is right at the middle of it, try to angle your camera, making it miss the light bulb, but enough to not miss your entire body, also counting when you raise your arms, that's the real goal here to make it work more efficiently. (You can check this by looking at an Autodance or using The Playroom game)
Don't let the camera face windows that are put in front of it and are not covered, sunlight sources that the camera can see also count.
If you got windows at any of the sides of the room, depending on how big they are or the intensity of the light that comes in, check if the camera works correctly with their light. Too much might create problems in the detection, although I've seen setups where it doesn't affect as much, decide whether or not using curtains to regulate the amount of light in your room is useful.
IMPORTANT: A room with too much light could cause a drop in the camera's quality of definition, just like how you focus something in your phone's camera and increase the brightness of that focus to the maximum. Try limiting it to 1 or 2 good light bulbs, without extra lamps or small led lights that are in already illuminated spaces, instead you could use them to spread your illumination in a better way or leave them out if not.
Don't have big mirrors reflecting lots of light at the walls, that would spread Illumination irregularly and might confuse the camera.
Be careful with your shadow, the camera can mistake it on the body detection. If you play really close to the wall and your shadow is shown on it, the camera will mistake it for your body and it will cause problems on detection. It can also happen on the floor, so try to play in a specific area where your shadows don't interfere a bit.

Distance, objects and related:
As the game suggests, the best distance between you and your camera should be 6.5ft (2m) and the player should play at least 1.6ft (50cm) away from any colliding objects behind it
IMPORTANT: If there's permanent elements of your room like door frames, floor/wall marks/arrangements like columns, edges, paint patterns/arrangements that mess with the continuity of the room's elements, hopefully they're not close enough for the camera to detect. If they are, they could be a cause of detection issues. Try covering them with something OR interact with them once the camera is activated in the screen before you start a song. Like, pass them with your hands or body and maybe the camera will act some way like usual. If none of those things seem to work, mess with the angle of sight of your camera or apply illumination at those elements, just keep experimenting somehow.

Unlike the Kinect, wearing black isn't suicide BUT it might be if the room's background also is.
Wear clothes of contrasting colors to your background to improve your detection. I mean, colors you can use to stand out more from the background on the sight of the camera, it's believed that it's somewhat bad at sorting slightly different colors.
If the colour of your skin is similar to the background in general, and you have thin arms, the camera might try to delete your hands or arms, but it happens rarely. It happens to me so wearing sleeves is a good idea.
Depending on your situation you might have to be more careful in that thing about colors, like, if you got lots of furniture in your background, that means more colors in the background and more care in to the colors you select, or if you just have a plain wall behind, avoid things like hanged frames and just use clothes that are the opposite color of your wall.
In the night you shouldn't have light bulbs of different colors, like white and orange. It's not certain if it affects, but I've had the theory it could because:
Another example, in parties, if they have multicolor lights, it's totally not gonna work like this. (Also counting that there must be a lot of people around making the camera detect really a lot of people and a super irregular room filled with furniture and stuff... so bugs everywhere lol)

At this point your camera should be working properly. If it isn't, keep reading and see if any more info helps:

Now, review the detection quality (thanks greekphysics for the idea): in the screen before you start the song and you stand in front of the camera to detect you, examine your body-outline image to see how the detection has gotten. The ideal is that:
Your body looks like your body, no part of your body should be cut or look thicker than it is, the borders should look continuous, "soft", not kind of cut or "sharp" and it should be completely solid, without any kind of holes inside of it. If any of these errors happen, cover them for a while with your hands or just move around. Go to the bottom of the guide at Temporary errors for more information around these issues.
When you move your arms or legs, they shouldn't leave a trace in the camera, I mean, once they move from one place to another, it shouldn't leave a leftover in your background that stays there (as it was detecting something else than you).
When you put your legs or arms together (for arms think like how a ballet dancer does), right before they approach one another, nothing more than that should happen. An error I've seen is that at some instance when they're close enough, the little space left between them before you put them together is suddenly detected by the camera before it dissappears when you put them completely together.
Walk around all the range of view of your camera too see if there are no abnormalities like, certain areas where your body-outline becomes less clean due to an illumination change, or elements of the background that leave a trace once you interact with them. Try avoiding those while you dance, as that's the only way they can affect gameplay.
At least try to achieve all of these points up to a 70% of success without issues and your camera will be ready.
If the detection is faulty or you're not satisfied, go back to the previous points but start experimenting with your own ideas now: mess up with the height of your camera, the angle at which it's looking, move up stuff in your room, mess with your illumination, anything you can think of, don't stop.

When playing:
Now the camera's set up and it's detecting your body... BUT the game's feedback isn't as expected or you're getting mostly Goods or OKs?
Contrary to popular belief, it might work the same as a Kinect, just moving around, although there are 2 extra factors here:
The Song selection: not every song is programed exactly right and depending on certain songs, regardless of the difficulty of the moves, you could be doing the choreography right but still get OK or X. Let's refer to these as "bug songs" (bugs = perjudicial technological anomalies), you'll see which ones are bug songs as you keep playing (this programming error applies to all consoles, not just the PS Cam or the PS4.)
The Movement detection technique of the PS Cam: Yes, the way it converts your movements to data is "worse": small and slow moves are its worst enemy, if you haven't realized yet after playing some songs. When experimenting, you should try doing moves faster and wider for better results, although this issue has got corrected in the newest games, take it in mind if you encounter bug songs.
YOUR TECHNIQUE: Study the moves! Maybe you're not rasing your arms enough, or the trajectory of your move isn't as exact! Try hitting the moves at different timing! The camera rewards more for solid and marked moves, not slow, sluggish and out of intensity moves due to the "worse" detection, so cheer up, it's Just Dance anyways!!
Did I say 2 factors instead of 3? Yeah... people need to be aware about their playstyle as well as questioning if their PS Cam setup is the best they can achieve.
Also if you're getting a veeeery bad feedback that is just unplayable Xs, consider re-checking the setup of your room, maybe you missed something or then could it be damaged? (Take it to a technician)

Ubisoft has managed to improve the detection as years come even with how fragile is this camera, so the older the game is, the worse the detection you may find. Specially from 2017 backwards, thanks to the addition of the SUPER move in 2018/2019 which improved accuracy in points. But don't get too cocky, the problem still persists... in less songs respectively.
Here's some examples on the kind of moves that the PS Camera has a lot of trouble tracking, in case you need a reference:
Just Dance 2019: no tears left to cry's very first move, as it comes from no movement at all, to a first slow move, the detections seems to be problematic and you need to experiment with the timing and speed of your movement.
Just Dance 2018: Blow Your Mind's moves before every chorus, when it says "Inside..." when the coach takes her hands down to her chest, the last move is too close to the previous one and the PS Cam has a lot of problems to track it. And before the last chorus she raises her arms up slowly, also problems.
Just Dance 2017: Radical's part where the music goes calm and the coach takes its arms from his knees all the way to the left, the move is VERY slow but it's sorted so fast that the camera is almost unable to detect it properly. Or Hips Don't Lie, when the coach moves to the sides of the screen, the steps are so close to each other for the camera to detect correctly... and almost a third of the whole choreography has a slow nature, it took me weeks to score more than 13,100 for the World Cup.

Temporary errors / Troubleshooting and solve methods:
Extra portions of the room being detected along the player:
The camera starts counting parts of space that we're not appearing from the start, mistaking them with the player's body and that affects gameplay. This can be caused by light being badly spread, also interactions with "faulty" areas of your room that make the camera go crazy like sitting on the floor, moving up stuff in the background; or just randomness, thanks to how fragile it can get sometimes, this means it's gotten descalibrated. Sometimes, the camera fixes these itself turning off and on almost immediatly, you might lose a move getting one X or OK, but it helps a lot. If it doesn't, cover the lens for a second or go for the definitive solution: restarting the game (not the console). If this keeps happening, consider modifying the room's illumination ASAP.

Player's body being detected, but it's not counted as a player:
You enter to a song and the camera detects your body, but it doesn't activate it as the player Happy, Jazzy, Crazy and you can't start the song. This is also descalibration, you can fix it by getting out and in to the camera's sight but from closer to farther so your figure must be recognized from zero, or the other way, restarting the game (not the console).
It can also happen if kids want to play. To solve, ask them to raise their hands, to walk around the play area or you stand in front of them, blocking them from the Camera and then moving apart, so the cam detects you successfully and then thinking that the silhouette of the kid is also a detectable body.

Player's body has small holes inside in the detection:
When you're playing, certain parts of your body in the game have small holes inside of it. This affects the scoring slightly. It could be caused by 1. the type of cloth or color of your clothes, you can just cover them for a second with something or 2. if your camera's lens is dirty (in the outside) and you need to give it a small clean. If this issue persists, it is also believed to be caused by too much light in your room so you should try experimenting with that. If nothing else works, now that's weird. Experiment to the maximum or try getting your camera repaired explaining all of this, maybe a component is faulty, but that's more of a last resort, it isn't a game-breaking issue anyways.

I've tried to cover all possible essentials but If you have any tips, please feel free to post them here. Or if you want direct help, reply with your problem here or in a direct message AND I'll be able to help you better if you describe the look of your room like at every aspect. You're also allowed to insert images to your posts so that would be hugely preferred.

01-02-2017, 04:11 PM
Hi Warfutt and welcome to the forums!

This an awesome guide for PS4 players that are having troubles adjusting their camera, so many thanks for this!

I will stick this thread on the top because it's very helpful.

01-25-2017, 02:18 AM
Woooooah really!? Wow thank you for sticking it, I'm so glad it was helpful :D
I came to edit some points because I tested the PS Camera with more rooms with different characteristics, so I could make the guide to appeal to the most rooms it can. I'll probably test it outside too xD

04-30-2017, 04:38 PM
Thank you so much for the extra details! It's now more readable indeed :)

11-12-2017, 12:22 AM
Over the year I've been helping more people with the Camera and I came with new ideas, also added a section with recommendations before getting a PS Cam, it might help a lot since everyone's getting Just Dance 2018 ^^
Also, I'm wondering if there could be a way to make this post visible on the Just Dance 2018 forum since everyone's visiting there. It might be more helpful if it's readable there as well for new visitors...

04-15-2018, 11:28 AM
Hey there. I read your beautiful article on how to solve the camera issues with JD. (I play JD2017). However there's the last problem/error/issue on your article that cannot help me at all (the one where your figure on the camera seemed weird or have holes in it). Cleaning the lens does not help at all. I tried all some of places to see if the issues was solved (Big/medium space and lots of lighting in the room so no problems there) but still the broken figure bug persists (I guess and still reported by lots of players with the ps4 camera). I wonder if UBI can fix the software regarding the camera for the JD 2017 in my case. Playing with the phone or the MOVE is not really good at all, because even if you make the perfect move you still miss cause the phone or move controller is not recognize or something.

Sorry for the long memo here (^^). Also just to be clear, by "cleaning the lens" you meant just clean the camera without tearing it apart right? (I've not done that obviously - tearing it apart I mean). And also I have the very first ps camera (got my ps4 when launch back in 2013), so no new models, but still I've seen people complaning with it..

05-23-2018, 04:10 PM
I have followed every suggestion to a T in regards to getting the ps4 camera to work. I find that it works so much better with certain songs than it does with others. The camera will detect me for the first few moves and then it's as if I disappear and all I see is a blank box with an X inside. I don't know if my camera is faulty, but this is incredibly frustrating for me.

05-26-2018, 10:49 PM
I have followed every suggestion to a T in regards to getting the ps4 camera to work. I find that it works so much better with certain songs than it does with others. The camera will detect me for the first few moves and then it's as if I disappear and all I see is a blank box with an X inside. I don't know if my camera is faulty, but this is incredibly frustrating for me.
Hi Wyked_Beth,

Since the guide isn't working for you, please reach out to our Support Team (https://support.ubi.com/)for assistance.

11-01-2018, 01:55 PM
I have followed every suggestion to a T in regards to getting the ps4 camera to work. I find that it works so much better with certain songs than it does with others. The camera will detect me for the first few moves and then it's as if I disappear and all I see is a blank box with an X inside. I don't know if my camera is faulty, but this is incredibly frustrating for me.
Hey Wyked_Beth, I had a similar experience, but after a month of persistence, I finally got the PS4 camera to work more consistently and across most of the dances (though not quite as well as Xbox Kinect). I believe I recognize your handle from the World Dance Floor (with impressive scores, as I recall).

I'm curious about which songs work worse or better for you with the PS4 camera; I wonder if it's the same songs as for me. I spent some time thinking about how the choreographies of those songs differ, and it helped me to pinpoint where the problems were. For example, when I danced to Lean On (main version), with Xbox I prefer dancer #4, but I was having a lot of trouble with dancer #4 on PS4. Then I realized that with Lean On, dancers #1 and #4 walk all the way across the room from the extreme ends, whereas dancers #2 and #3 don't travel as much horizontally. So I spent a day relearning the dance with dancer #2 and hit a much better score. This suggested that the camera was getting confused with something in the background at the sides of my room. My background screen is 10 feet wide. Before a dance began, I walked back and forth across the screen, studying the body-outline image, and realized that my background wasn't wide enough. So I added some blankets (same color as the screen) to the side. I still had a few issues, so I spent some time trying to make the seams between the blankets and background as seamless as possible.

When I did this, I started hitting better scores on some of the other dances, like Hips Don't Lie (main version) and Automaton (alternate). In fact, on these two dances, I had been taking X's on the easy moves in the dance where the coach dances far to the right and left, and after extending my background those moves were mostly perfect.

Thinking about other moves that I was struggling with on PS4 compared to Xbox, and studying my body-outline image before a dance begins, I realized that the transition between my flooring and the background was intersecting near my hip and the top of my leg, and was causing a few issues. I found a very large, thin rug the same color as the background (almost), and it seemed to help. The recent videos by Littlesiha show that she now has a strip of a large globe lights across this exact area in her dance room. I tried doing something like this before I added my rug, but the lights I tried weren't quite as bright as what she uses.

There were a few dances where the arms pass in front of the coach, like John Wayne (main version) and Love Ward, or where the arms come between the coach and the screen (like the last gold move in Shape of You). I was having troubles with these dances (well, my only issue with Shape of You is that it's an easy 13,300 on Xbox, but hard to hit above 12,900 on PS4 for me). I found a pair of bright green costume gloves that seemed to help. Also, I tried wearing sleeves with a sleeveless shirt over my sleeved shirt (but it's not comfortable unless you can really pour on the A/C).

I found a sheet of Just Dance PS4 camera tips from years ago that suggested wearing bright colors, and found that wearing bright colors against a dark background worked better for me (although I haven't had luck with red, and not as much luck with white): especially, green, yellow, orange, even blue seems okay. I avoid clothes with patterns, stripes, checkers, etc., as the camera sometimes gets confused.

I feel like the game examines both the body-outline image that you see at the top of the screen during the dance and the video feed. When I first turn my PS4 on and it uses the camera to log me in, I see a live video feed. In this video feed, I noticed that (depending a little on the lighting) certain colors don't look different to the camera. For example, when I wear orange sleeves and a green sleeveless shirt, these colors look the same to the camera; but when I put a blue sleeveless shirt over yellow sleeves, it sees two distinct colors. Similarly, I make sure that my gloves look different to the camera in the live video feed than my torso.

If I wipe my face in the room with a towel, that seems to affect my game play experience. Just like sitting on furniture or even sitting on the floor. I can walk out of the room a limited number of times to deal with sweat, drink water, etc., and eventually the body-outline image appears noticeably degraded and I restart the game to refresh it. I try not to dance to too many songs in a row (except on the dance floor it's pretty much a necessity).

I have one bright photography lamp behind the t.v. and just above it with the camera (the new model works better than the old model for me) with a photography umbrella in front of it so it doesn't blind me when I look at it. It's enough light that I can see yellow and blue colors in the video feed (too much light and they all look white), and just enough light so that the facial recognition software can detect me. (When I have an issue mid-game, I exit and add new facial recognition data so it can see how I looked when the problem occurred.)

With the camera above and behind the center of the t.v. (and windows closed, room lights off, doors shut), this solved my issues with shadows. With the camera just above the t.v. and under the light (the light a little behind the camera so direct light doesn't enter the lens), the shadows are mostly hidden from the camera so that they don't cause problems. (These shadows were my biggest problem in the beginning and it took a long time before I discovered this simple, efficient solution).

If I see holes in my body-outline image and the holes follow me around as I walk, I put my hands over the holes and they disappear, then I know that the problem is with my clothing, either the color, pattern, or the way it is shaped on my body. I spent some time trying different clothes to see what worked best. If the hole doesn't move with you, clean the lens.

Make sure that the body-outline image can see separation between your legs. When I experimented with my flooring options and light positions, I noticed that in some cases my legs were blending together or only separated at the bottom. With the light above and behind the t.v., it shines the light between my legs better.

I had a love-hate relationship with the PS4 camera for the first month. I hit better scores on a few dances compared to what I do on Xbox, like Side to Side (alternate) and Dharma (alternate). After the World Cup qualifiers ended, I finally got my setup right and improved my scores on three of the extreme dances, which showed me that PS4 has the potential to compete with Xbox. But then I would hit a low 12,000 on Love Ward or 24K Magic (main version) when I usually hit 13,000 on Xbox, and I would get frustrated and ready to give up. Then I would get inspiration for something to try with my background, clothing, or flooring, try it, and hit a good score on some dance.

I suspect that part of the problem was that I have a ton of experience with Xbox Kinect, but was new to the PS4 camera, and it takes a while to get used to the new platform (which may not score every move of every dance quite the same way: there may be things that one camera forgives that the other picks up on, so I spent some time analyzing the choreographies that were giving me trouble to see if I had been missing some detail) and build up my scores over time. When I started using PS4, I had already mastered the dances on Kinect, and I think this had something to do with the disparity between my scores on some of the dances. With 2019, I'm learning the dances on PS4 and Kinect side by side, and my scores are much more comparable on most of the dances so far. In fact, so far my best score of JD2019, which is 13316, came with PS4.

As Warfutt said, everybody's camera experience is somewhat different because we dance in different rooms with different backgrounds, flooring, clothes, lighting, etc. You need to experiment, and examine the body-outline image before a dance beings. If I stand in one of the dancer's slots, I stick my leg out in the adjacent slot and it helps me see my legs in this image. When I'm struggling with certain moves on PS4 that are usually easy on Xbox, I spend much time thinking about those moves and what might be confusing the camera. I stand in that position, then go near the camera and look back where I had been, see if I can figure out how my background, flooring, clothes, lighting, or shadows might be causing an issue (and examine the choreography closely to see if PS4 is noticing some detail that Xbox doesn't seem to care about; this has actually happened a few times).

Good luck and happy dancing. :-)

12-13-2018, 05:59 PM
Okay, based on the comments I'll revisit the guide and try to explain more in detail about song detection (yes, across all platforms not all songs detect you well and it's common), other possible causes for the "broken figure" in which the player has holes in it (Lightning is a factor and I've got a friend who can explain for the guide about this) and other issues.
I gotta address that greekphysics's advices are on point, about wearing contrasting colors to the room,avoid interacting with furniture and the room in certain situations like not sitting on the floor.

At the 12/31/2018, I've made a major update to the guide, adding to what I'd say like 5 more paragraphs of new information with the help of other players around the world. Hopefully we'll encounter less problems and more ways to help everyone in the future!

12-30-2018, 09:42 PM
I have followed every suggestion to a T in regards to getting the ps4 camera to work. I find that it works so much better with certain songs than it does with others. The camera will detect me for the first few moves and then it's as if I disappear and all I see is a blank box with an X inside. I don't know if my camera is faulty, but this is incredibly frustrating for me.That sounds like it's more of a hardware error, did you buy your camera new or used??
And also your room must have something to do with it. Most of the time I've been approached by other users who have this kind of issue, it's because of conditions of their house. If you could describe (or post a photo) of your room at every possible aspect, I'd be glad to help.