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Pictograms are a type of move in the franchise, and are featured in every Just Dance game. They show players how to execute the next move and come in a wide variety of colors.

History

Main series

Just Dance

In the original game, the pictograms were not very well detailed. They run quickly on an invisible line and disappear quickly on an intermittent triangle. Under them is a small white upside-down triangle. The arrows that sometimes appear with them are very narrow and monocolor. They had a 2D aspect.

Pictograms for Shake Moves have a colored cloud and various shaded shapes, resembling the arms that are shaking.

Just Dance 2

In the second game, the pictograms received major improvements, but are still not very detailed, and they still disappear quickly on the triangle. They're now based on a 3D model and no longer hand-drawn, a change which carries on into all the subsequent main series games, albeit with a few minor changes. The arrows are wider and of different colors. In Duets, they slide on different sides (from the left for P1 and from the right for P2). Some pictograms have now a circle symbol to represent the glove and avoid confusion between the two hands (mostly when they are crossing). A few songs have a symbol to indicate clapping, or a sudden hand movement such as striking the air, and very rarely have short curved lines to indicate shaking. These symbols are used more frequently in later games, including this game's DLC. 

Gold Moves, which make their first appearance in this game, are fully golden with a gold outline.

Just Dance 3

In the third game, the pictograms did not receive very big improvements. In most songs, they had a thinner torso and a smaller head. Additionally, the triangle was rounded instead of pointed. On Xbox, they fade when they reach the triangle, but on Wii and PS3, they enlarge a bit and fade out. In Duets, both pictograms come from the right, while in Dance Crews they slide at a faster rate because the triangle is in the middle of the screen. From this game on, the Gold Move pictograms for multiplayer routines are not golden; instead, they keep their normal colors, and have a golden outline. Also, there are now dark shadows under the pictograms whenever the dancer(s) jump(s).

Just Dance 4

In the fourth game, the pictograms were a bit wider with a slightly bigger head and the triangle was replaced by a white line with an intermittent rectangle; when they reach the rectangle, they fade out while enlarging. Also, the end of the line is not in the middle anymore for Dance Crews. The arrows became thicker and the jump shadows were updated; they are not as dark as in Just Dance 3.

Just Dance 2014

In the fifth game, the pictograms seemed to be smaller and improved. Also, the rectangle is placed more to the left for Duets, Trios, and Dance Crews. This feature would be present in every later main game. On the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the pictograms move slightly upwards when they fade.

Just Dance 2015

In the sixth game, the body of the pictograms was slightly wider than the former two games, and when they fade, they move upwards on all consoles.

Just Dance 2016

In the seventh game, the head of most pictograms had a bolder outline, in contrast with the body, which didn't seem to have any.

Just Dance 2017

In the eighth game, the pictograms had a thinner head outline than the former game, and the body's white outline is much more noticeable. The color gradients on the body also seemed to be smoother.

Just Dance 2018

In the ninth game, the pictograms slide has a different beat effect with no particles, and the pictograms pulse to the beat and have a little shadow behind them. These effects only appear on 8th-gen consoles and the Switch. Also, most of the Gold Move pictograms for Duets, Trios, and Dance Crews have thicker and darker outlines.

Just Dance 2019

In the tenth game, the pictograms are similar to Just Dance 2018 pictograms, along with the pictogram slide, but now most of the solo Gold Move pictograms have thicker and darker outlines. This still goes for Duets, Trios, and Dance Crews, just like in Just Dance 2018.

Just Dance 2020

In the eleventh game, the pictogram slide has been completely replaced. It is now a bar with rounded edges and a small triangle at the top. The bar pulses instead of flashing. The pictogram bar is the same color as the lyrics. The pictograms have a slightly more visible pulse, and they fade in. The solo Gold Move pictograms are slightly the same as Just Dance 2018.

Japanese and Chinese series

Just Dance Wii

Just Dance Wii pictograms are based off Just Dance 2 pictograms.

Just Dance Wii 2

Just Dance Wii 2 pictograms are based off Just Dance 4 pictograms.

Just Dance Wii U

Just Dance Wii U pictograms are based off Just Dance 2014 pictograms.

Just Dance 2015 (Chinese Version)

Most of the Just Dance 2015 China pictograms are based off Just Dance 2016 pictograms (except for Dancing Diva, which has Just Dance 2015-styled pictograms).

Yo-kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Edition

Yo-kai Watch Dance pictograms are based off of Just Dance 2016 pictograms.

Just Dance Now (Chinese Version)

Just Dance Now China pictograms are based off Just Dance 2017 pictograms, except the color gradients are more pixelated.

舞力全开2017

Just Dance 2017 China pictograms are based off Just Dance 2018 pictograms, as seen in the Gold Move 3 pictogram of Tui Zhi Ge. The routines from the main series use their initial pictograms.

Kids series

Just Dance Kids

In this game, pictograms are mostly orange with a white orb on the right hand, and a slight 3D effect. They slide towards a triangle, like in the first games of the series; this feature is brought in all other games of the Kids series.

Just Dance Kids 2

Here, pictograms are mostly blue with a much more visible 3D effect. They look shorter and with a bigger head.

Just Dance: Disney Party

In this game, the pictograms are like Just Dance Kids 2 pictograms, but they have a sort of yellow bracelet on the right arm and they fade.

Just Dance Kids 2014

In this game, pictograms have thicker limbs and a 2D aspect, and their body fade from light blue to teal downwards. The props look different as well, and Duet pictograms slide from different sides.

Just Dance: Disney Party 2

Just Dance: Disney Party 2 pictograms are based off Just Dance 4 pictograms, but they are all purple with white arrows and props. They have a thin black outline as well. Duets pictograms come from different directions, like in Just Dance 2.

Other spin-offs

ABBA: You Can Dance/Michael Jackson: The Experience

In both games, the pictograms are contained into a white circle. They appear as black 2D stylized bodies, with the right arm colored pink in ABBA: You Can Dance and blue in Michael Jackson: The Experience. They slide bottom up, and they disappear with a fading effect.

Michael Jackson: The Experience (Xbox)

They are all black and they are in a man shape. They appear on the right of the dancer(s). They are in a gray box. Each box contains one or two pictograms.

Dance on Broadway (Wii)

They look similar to the pictograms in Just Dance, but they're smaller and they are all black. They slide from different sides, like in Just Dance 2 duets.

Dance on Broadway (PS3)

They are in a boy shape. They are all gray with black arrows. The slide is similar to Michael Jackson: The Experience and ABBA: You Can Dance.

The Black Eyed Peas Experience (Wii)

They look similar to Just Dance pictograms; they're all orange with light blue arrows, and they have a clay texture. Their arms are not connected to their body.

The Black Eyed Peas Experience (Xbox)

In this game, pictograms are GIF files. They are a white shape, showing the moves over the camera square.

The Hip Hop Dance Experience

In this game, pictograms are GIF files. They are a dark blue boy shape, showing the moves under the camera square.

The Smurfs Dance Party

They are all orange with light blue arrows, and they're very small. They have a thick white outline, and they disappear immediately on a motionless white triangle.

Trivia

  • Starting from Just Dance 2 onwards, the color scheme of pictograms go like this: the color of the pictogram body is the same color as the main/prominent color on the coach, and the arrows, punch effects, and shake lines are the same color as the glove.
    • For Duets and higher, the arrows, punch effects, and shake lines are the same color as the pictogram.
    • If all the coaches are the same color (as in No Control), the pictogram colors are the same color as the glove.
  • In Just Dance Wii, the flashing triangle is placed higher than in Just Dance 2 and Summer Party/Extra Songs, but the pictograms slide is not, making the pictograms appear slightly under the triangle.
  • In Just Dance and Just Dance 2, the pictograms were originally going to have a neon outline (according to some promotional gameplays).
  • In the files of The Power and Soul Bossa Nova, some pictograms that look like those of the former game can be seen.
  • In Dance on Broadway, there are two pictogram slides, one coming from the left and one from the right, even if there is only one person playing.
  • In most songs in Just Dance 3, the pictograms have slightly longer legs than the other Just Dance game pictograms. This is the same with Just Dance: Greatest Hits/Best Of.
  • In Just Dance 3, many songs have pictograms in the style of Just Dance 2 pictograms.
    • A similar fact happens in Just Dance 4 and Just Dance 2015, in which several routines have Just Dance 2016 styled pictograms. In the case of Just Dance 4 and 2015, some songs have all of their pictograms in that style but others only have a few.
    • Another similar fact happens in Just Dance 2016, in which some songs (along with most of the Just Dance Unlimited exclusives) have Just Dance 2017 pictograms. Some songs have all their pictograms in that style, but others only have most of them.
    • Another similar fact happens in post-Just Dance 2014 games, in which many routines have Just Dance 2014 styled Gold Move pictograms (with a white glow). Some routines have certain Gold Move pictograms in that style, while others have all of them in that style.
  • In Just Dance 3, most pictograms in Duets and Dance Crews are semi-transparent. This typically happens when one coach is dancing more forward than the others.
  • Starting from the remake of Jingle Bells, the arrows for when a coach moves forward or backward were updated.
  • Mashed Potato Time has the lowest pictogram count in the whole series, with 26 on Just Dance and 20 on Just Dance 3.
    • By contrast, the Extreme version of Scream & Shout has the highest count: 289.
  • Girlfriend has the shortest pictogram sprite in the series, with only 13 pictograms (resulting in a size of 3328 x 256 pixels).
  • The default colors for the Just Dance pictograms (from Just Dance 2014 onwards) is listed below:
  • Originally, pictogram sprites used to sort their pictograms in alphabetical order according to their code names; however, as of an unknown date, the pictograms started to be placed in order of creation.
  • In some Just Dance Now extractions (such as HandClap), the pictograms flash white when they fade off.
  • From the beginning until Just Dance 2, pictograms code names were in French; from Just Dance 2 onwards, instead, their code names are mostly in English.
  • In more recent games, pictograms are often colored according to the coach’s bottomwear rather than their top (for example, Sweet Little Unforgettable Thing’s pictograms are cobalt blue to match her denim shorts rather than yellow-orange to match her shirt).
  • The punch effects are actually concaves.
  • In Just Dance 2020, the pictogram bar color automatically turns to red, when the lyrics are instrumental.

Gallery

Standard pictograms

Main series

Japanese and Chinese series

Kids/Disney series

Other spin-offs

Gold Move pictograms

Main series

Japanese and Chinese series

Kids/Disney series

Other spin-offs

Others

References

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