File Juicer

DoubleTake for Mac OS X

sample images for stitching

Sample images

Take a look at the new sample images and download (5 MB) while you read this manual.

Start DoubleTake

Drag images into DoubleTake

To stitch two or more images seamlessly together, wide or high panorama, drag them onto DoubleTake. This will also work when DoubleTake is in the Dock, or if you drag from iPhoto, Apple Aperture (tips, plug-in), Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Bridge.

When DoubleTake opens the images, it takes a look at the edges of the images and makes a guess about the arrangement, left, right top or bottom. The guess may be mistaken, but you can drag the images into the correct order. Perhaps with one click on the zoom out button to increase the overview.

DoubleTake's automatic guess expects the images to overlap between 5 and 50%. Outside that you must arrange the images yourself.

If you drag all the images you wish to join at once you get the automatic guess. If you drag one image at a time it gets dropped where you release the mouse.

the seam

Adjusting the seam

On this screenshot you can vaguely see a color-shift in the water because of the seam. To make a wider seam and spread out the color change do these 2 steps:

  1. Click on the seam to make the overlap handles appear.
  2. Drag one of the triangular handles, until the transition is smooth.

Align

When you have sorted the images you can adjust an overlap automatically instead of placing the images carefully with the mouse or keyboard. Click on the overlap so it gets selected and then click the align button. Undo is available if it fails.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Without other keys held down: + and - zooms in and out.

Space held down while dragging anywhere in the window, scrolls everything.

Locking Overlaps

When you wish to stitch together many images, it is convenient to be able to lock a overlap when it has been aligned. This is the purpose of the overlap menu.

Images locked at the overlaps will move together with the mouse.

If you select more than one image by clicking on it while holding down the shift key, you can also move the images together.

adjust the overlap

Move and Align

When you drag the images the overlap is shown with transparent images.

This allows you to align the edges in the images, and better decide if you want to move the seam away from the middle of the overlap. A diagonal seam can be useful in some cases.

Undo is supported to undo unintended move(s).

Keyboard Shortcuts

Single click on one image selects it (shown with small red handles). Then it can be moved with arrow keys, and deleted with backspace.

When It Looks Just Right

You save the finished image, and perhaps you drag the saved result back into iPhoto if that was where the images came from.

window title icon

Crop, Fisheye & Focal length

panoramic effect and cropping

Crop

DoubleTake offers three ways of cropping of the result. Either the total crop, where the white areas surrounding misaligned picture are included, inside cropping with no white areas or manual cropping where you control everything by dragging the red crop handles.

The parts which will be cropped away when saving, will be shown dimmed outside the crop rectangle.

Fisheye

Let you apply fisheye style distortion to the image. Good if the image has straight lines across the seam area close to the edges of the image. You can turn this feature off, with horizontal lines bent or with vertical lines bent.

Focal Length

This is only used for the fisheye distortion. The shorter the focal length used when the picture was taken the more distortion. You can adjust the slider and ignore what the camera may have written into the image file when the image was taken. Then you can use the manual override, to tell DoubleTake at which focal length the images were taken.

geometry adjust

Geometry Tools

Each image can be rotated or adjusted individually. The palettes for geometry and color adjustments work on the selected image or images. If you select another image, the palette will update to display the setting for that image.

You select more images by holding down the shift key while clicking on it.

Scale, Rotate and Perspective.

The corner handles on the selected image change to show how the image gets changes when you drag the corners.

Rotate around a center you choose.

Normally DoubleTake rotates images around their center. Many times it is simpler to align 2 images to each other if you rotate them around a easy to pick point in the overlap. Bring up the Geometry panel, and double click on the point you wish to rotate around. It gets marked with a red circle. The selected images gets rotated by the sliders. You can move the center to another point by double clicking the next place. A 30 sec video may show this better.

Keyboard shortcuts

You can change the function of the corner handles by hitting: The arrow keys let you tap the images in place. Holding down the alt-key makes each press half the step.

m - Align an overlap or an image. (originally I called this magnetize)

shortcuts for magic trackpad

Magic Mouse and Trackpad

If you use Mac OS 10.6.4 or later and have a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad you can use a few extra shortcuts there.

exposure control of the images

Adjustment Tools

The two images here are exposed differently because the sun is only in the left image. On most cameras you can turn auto-exposure off, but you can also tweak this afterwards.

Overlap Menu

Many Images

When you drop many images into DoubleTake, Zoom to fit will make the overlaps rather small. If you then zoom in to see each overlap clearly you can jump to the next overlap with the Next and Previous menu (and their shortcuts).

The lock and unlock function can be used when you have adjusted an overlap, and you don't want to move the images apart by accident. The 2 images now select and deselect together, and  they move together when you drag with the mouse.

Reset is only if you have adjusted the seam width or dragged the seam away from the center of the overlap.

Keyboard Shortcut

Extend selection: If you have selected an image in the middle of a panorama you can select all images to the left or right by using cmd-shift-right/left-arrow.

DoubleTake file format

If you have arranged many images, you may save the arrangement and settings as well as saving the completed image. This is good if you want to make a change later. Then you don't have to rearrange all the images again.

The format does not save copies of the images, but just their location on your disk. If you move the images, then you should put the DoubleTake file the same place, so it can find them.

While I don't intend to document the internals of the format (XML) you are welcome to take a look inside with Text Exit!

An other reason to save these files is if DoubleTake gets new features, then it is easy to open old image sets.

DoubleTake File Format - The Library

When you save a merged image as a normal image format, DoubleTake saves the settings in its own folder which you set up in the preferences. You can then go back into this folder later and open the arrangements later, if you have not moved the original images.

QuickTime VR

You can save any stitched image as QuickTime VR with DoubleTake 2.2.8. Apple has deprecated QTVR and DoubleTake 2.2.9 and newer does not offer saving as QTVR. I could consider saving as HTML as a new feature, but few these days have web sites, and regular video is Youtube or Vimeo compatible and I feel that is how it is mostly done.

To stitch 360 degree seams, you pick the 360 degree menu item in the overlap menu. This duplicates the left image to the right so you can arrange the seam on the "back side". You can move the duplicated image to line everything up, and when you release the mouse all the images gets rotated together if your horizon is not perfectly level.

The save sheet gives you a few options to generate HTML code for embedding QuickTime VR in web pages. You can either use the html which gets placed on the clipboard, or use the full screen QuickTime VR html setup saved together with the movie.

If you resize DoubleTakes window, zoom and scroll to a view on the panorama, this setting will be stored as the default opening of the QuickTime VR movie.

Here is a one minute movie showing how to make a 360 degree qtvr out of 3 photos (whicha are not really 360 degrees).

Notice that since Apple does not support QuickTime VR in 64 bit mode you will need to switch DoubleTake to 32 bit mode to save as QTVR on Mac OS 10.5 and newer.

Bug Warning: With a security update in early 2011 Apple has intruduced a bug which will make QTVR movies crash QuickTime Player 7. Apple has fixed this in Mac OS 10.7 "Lion" and I hope they will release a fix for Mac OSX 10.6.8 as well.

Photomontages

You can use DoubleTake as a quick way to create photomontages. Take a look at the video to see a demonstration.

Large Images

large panoramas With DoubleTake you can create images which are very large. If you stitch 16 photos from a 12 mega-pixel camera, the final image can end up having more than 100 million pixels.

Many applications can not handle images this big gracefully, or become overloaded. Adobe's PhotoShop Elements has a limit of 30,000 pixels wide or high images./p>

A 30,000 pixel wide panorama will take a long time to open in Preview on most Macs (20 minutes on my PowerBook with 1GB of RAM), so I recommend using the "1:2" or "1:3" scaling to get an image less than 15,000 pixels wide.

The "Custom" scaling makes it possible save the panorama in any smaller size and it will keep the proportions intact. If you type in 1.000 pixels in the height field, the width field is automatically set so that the hight:width proportions will remain the same.

If you have Mac OS X Snow Leopard, and an Intel Mac with a Core 2 Duo processor, the newest version of DoubleTake may save images of insane sizes. If you push these limits I recommend that you save as doubletake format first, and the attempt the huge save. And send me an email where you explain why it would be amazing to use such large images.

exposure control of the images

Print

You can let DoubleTake split an image or panorama and print it on several pages.

Limitations

DoubleTake panoramas are limited to 256 million pixels, however practical limits are lower as images this large are too big for most computers to work with.

Finder Info for DoubleTake

64 Bit vs. 32 Bit

To save panoramas larger than 100 million pixels you need a Mac with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or newer and Mac OS X 10.5. The upper limit of saved files is not known - but I believe this is limited by patience, file format limits and the application in which you wish to use the saved image.

When running 64 bit QuickTime VR is not supported as Apple decided not to add this to the 64 bit part of QuickTime. Neither is stitching of QuickTime movies (not many have ever tried this).

To turn on 64 bit mode use Get Info in Finder and uncheck the 32 bit checkbox

To turn off 64 bit mode use Get Info in Finder and check the 32 bit checkbox

Contact

Feedback, report bugs and questions are welcome to:

Henrik Dalgaard
Echo One
feedback@echoone.com

My time zone: Central European - I live in Denmark.