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360 Camera Techniques Ricoh

TECHNIQUE: How to straighten multiple Ricoh Theta photos in batches

Straighten horizon of multiple Ricoh Theta photos
Straighten horizon of multiple Ricoh Theta photos

Editor’s note: In this post, we learn a simple technique for straightening multiple Ricoh Theta photos at the same time.  This post is by Gaba VR, who has a very cool YouTube channel for 360 camera techniques, and who has been featured previously on 360 Rumors.  Gaba VR is one of the channels I subscribe to, and for which I have an alert, because Gaba’s videos are consistently very good.  Here’s his tutorial!

Ricoh Theta V & Theta SC 360 Cameras
Ricoh Theta V and Theta SC

Ricoh Theta is still one of the most popular consumer 360 cameras on the market, with a really reliable application for smartphones, so there’s no wonder, that most Theta S and Theta V users prefer editing and posting images right on mobile devices. Among other features, the Theta S application (both iOs and Android version) does a great job in setting up horizon levels automatically during transferring the photos from the camera to the phone.

Problem: when horizons are not straight

But in other cases if we want to edit and store our photos on the computer, we face the fact that our images, copied right from the camera, can be twisted, distorted and they don’t always have a straight horizon.

As long as we open our photos with Ricoh Theta software or upload them on Facebook without any modification, we don’t notice the difference, except we see little bit weird thumbnails on the computer. But in practice these images behave really strange, especially in the following cases:

– if we want to open our image in a third-party 360 image viewer, like GoPro VR Player,
– if we want to create little planet photos in Photoshop or Insta360 Studio,
– if we want to use our 360 photos as nice, flat panoramic images,
– if we want to import our photos into a video editor and want to use them as stills or time-lapses in a 360° video,
– if we want to import and edit our photos in a video editor to reframe and create “traditional” videos with 360° photos.

Of course every user has their own preferences how they like to work with these photos. But in many cases we need to have perfect 360° photos with straight horizons.

Straightening horizons with the desktop app

Basically these images have specific metadata information which describes the shooting angles, but unfortunately only a couple of software or app can read them. The official Ricoh Theta software is one of them, and besides we can use it as an image viewer, it also helps us to save the photos with perfect top/bottom correction. But when we have a lot of photos it’s quite a slow process to render them one-by-one.

Ricoh Theta's desktop app can straighten horizons, but you have to do it one at a time
Ricoh Theta’s desktop app can straighten horizons, but you have to do it one at a time

Straightening multiple photos in batches

We can find apps and some software which help us aligning our 360 photos in post, but maybe the fastest and easiest way is to use the following trick:

As I mentioned in the beginning, Theta S application straightens the photos very well during transferring them to the mobile devices. All we need is to enable “display after shooting” function, so every time we take a picture, it’s automatically downloaded to the phone. Another solution is to transfer the selected images later. Anyhow, having all the photos we need on the phone we can copy them to the computer instead of copying the images from the camera itself.

This way we get straight panorama photos without processing them one-by-one with any desktop software.

Thanks again to Gaba VR for this clever and time-saving tip for Ricoh Theta users!  If you haven’t seen his YouTube channel yet, be sure to check it out and subscribe!  Also check out Gaba VR on Instagram.  Are there other techniques that you want to know?  Please post in the comments!