If you have used a Ricoh Theta spherical camera, you will know that you can hold the camera any way, and that it always knows which way is up. When you transfer the image from the camera to a phone, the images are levelled for you. However, these images are also reduced in resolution, so that image is not full size. If you import an image from the camera to your computer, that correction is not applied. If you held the camera at an angle, the image you get will reflect that.
Ricoh’s Theta Application for Mac and Windows can save images which have been corrected, but you have to do this one image at a time. If you have a lot of images to work through, this can be time consuming. Also, the application can only save them as JPEGs – not good if you don’t want the want the images to suffer another round of JPEG’s lossy compression.
I have written a small application for Mac OSX and Windows that can help with this. Drag and drop your imported images onto the target icon in the app’s window, and it will work through them all, levelling and saving them as a TIFF. The original images are left untouched.
This application relies on some tools that are supplied with the popular, and free, panoramic stitching software Hugin (Windows: 2015.x.x, Mac: 2014.x.x). Download the version for your platform and install it. Let the installer place the software in your platform’s default Applications Folder:
Windows: C:Program Files\
Mac users: You may be asked to verify the app when you first run it. Right Click on the icon, and select Open from the contextual menu. You may have to authenticate. Or, after getting the warning dialogue, go to System Preferences, click on Security and Privacy icon and in the Allow Apps downloaded from section, click on Open Anyway. I’m not an identified Apple developer, so apps need an extra step to run when you first open them. Mac Users may also be prompted to install Command Line Tools for XCode. This is normal, as this app relies on Unix tools that are not part of the regular Mac OSX Install. Once these are installed, this app will run.
Mac People - extract the .zip file and drag the application to your /Applications folder
Windows people - extract the .zip file, and drag the resulting folder to your C:Program Files\ folder. There are three items in that folder - all must be present for the application to run correctly.
1 - Import your images from the Theta to your computer. On a Mac, you can use Image Capture. Don’t do anything else to the image - we want to preserve the EXIF data, and it may be removed or altered if you do anything else to it. Make this the first thing you do to the image after import. Mac people - if you have included a / or # character in the name of any folder in the path to the images (for example, you are using dates in the format Folder 1/1/2016), then this application won’t process your images. The Unix tool Make which is used to tell Hugin what to do will fail. Either rename the folder(s) or move the images to another folder while they are converted. There seems to be no way around this at the moment.
2 - Start the Level Theta Images app
3 - Drag the images you imported in step 1 and drop them on the target area in the application’s window. You can drag one image, or more. I’ve tested this with about five images–those people doing time lapse photography with a lot of images may want to do this in batches.
4 - Wait. Level Theta Images will process each one, handing it to Hugin’s tools which level it and saves it as a TIFF image in the same folder as the JPEGs. It can be slow, depending on your system specification. The original files will not be removed. Exif data from the original image will be cpied to the new image.
There is a preferences setting in this app, which you probably never need to use (it’s a bit experimental at the moment anyway). If you move the Hugin folder (which contains the Hugin App, and some other files and folders), then you will need to tell this app where it is. Click on the gear icon in the window, and type in the new path to the Hugin folder. Be sure to give the location of the folder, don’t include the Hugin application itself. If you want to restore the preferences to how they were, click the Defaults button.
1.0.3 - FaceBook introduced support for 360 photos, but this required certain Exif data in the image to be present for it to work. Level Theta Images now includes this Exif data, so it should be carried forward by your image editing software when you export to jpeg (the file has to be a jpeg when you send it to FaceBook). Be aware that if you use File>Save For Web... in Photoshop, this Exif data will be stripped out - use File>Save As... instead. Affinity Photo preserves this data when the image is exported. Other applications may (or may not) preserve this data - check their documentation and/or support for more information.
This version has also been buiult in Live Code Community 8.
This version not tested in Windows as I don’t have access to a Windows machine at the moment.
1.0.1 - EXIF data (camera details and GPS data) copied to the TIFF file. ExifTool 10.10 for Windows included with application
1.0 - Initial Release
If you like this application, and you find it useful, please consider a donation to fund my tea habit. Thank you.
Download (14MB) for Mac OS X (tested in Mac OS X 10.11.5)
Download (13MB) for Windows (limited testing in Windows 10 - also I’m not a Windows user, so I’m not too familiar with this platform)
This application includes ExifTool which accesses and writes the exif data in images.
This application is ©Paul Dunning 2016 and is released under the GPL license.