The Huygens Twin Slicer

synchronize views of multiple images, measure distances, plot line profiles

The Huygens Twin Slicer is a visualization tool available in Huygens Essential, Huygens Professional and Huygens Localizer. The Twin Slicer allows you to synchronize views of two or three images, and to measure intensities, sizes, and distances, plot line profiles and more. In Basic Mode (also available without a license), image comparison is intuitive and easy. The Advanced Mode gives the user the freedom to rotate the cutting plane to any arbitrary orientation, link (synchronize) or unlink viewing parameters between the two images, and more.

Image Description:
Huygens Twin Slicer window in the Advanced mode, showing a Widefield image of a kinetochore complex. Data courtesy of Dr. Livio Kleij en Martijn Vroomans, Medical Oncology, UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Twin Slicer Window

Compare images

Huygens Twin Slicer allows easy comparison between multiple images.

Edit contrast, colors & more

Edit brightness, contrast, colors, and use LUTs for each image channel.

Easy measurements

With the twin slicer, you can easily do perform distance, size and intensity measurements.

Visualize and Compare images

The Twin Slicer offers a lot of visualization possibilities. With automatic linking, you can compare two images without any difficulties.

Compare images
Slice through Z and Time
Change orientation
Animate through Z and Time
Different projection modes
Automatic panning
Automatic linking
Data plotter
Change colors
Tune brightness and contrast

Image description:
Widefield image. Data courtesy of Dr. Alexia Ferrand, Imaging Core Facility, Biozentrum, University of Basel

Tuning the Brightness & Contrast

The brightness and contrast controls are accessible in the Contrast panel. The brightness can be changed per channel, or for all channels at once (master).

For more advanced gamma options, click on the Contrast Editor cartoon which opens a new interactive window. Here, you can manually change the image contrast for all channels at once or for each channel individually

The contrast editor can be used to fine-tune the contrast settings in various visualization tools in Huygens, including the twin slicer. It can be found by clicking the little interactive graph under the “Contrast” tab.

Image Description:
MIP renderer in the Twin Slicer showing a Paramecium with adjusted brightness and gamma settings. Image courtesy of A. Aubusson-Fleury CNRS, Gif sur Yvette, Paris.

Change Colors & Look Up Table Editor

In addition to the color schemes that are available in basic mode, the advanced mode allows the use of custom colors. Use the color picker to manually select a color for each channel. For even more refined control, there is the custom look-up table. The Look Up Table (LUT) helps you to make easy intensity comparisons between images, to map image intensities to colors, and to visualize the data in your images as clearly as possible. The LUT editor allows you to load, view and edit your own color schemes to display your images with. In image rendering look-up tables (LUTs) are often used to speed up rendering, and allow for more complex color coding than simply matching higher intensities with brighter colors. The LUT editor can be found by opening any of the slicers or MIP renderers, selecting the “Channels & Colors” tab and setting the Color mode to “Custom look-up table”. A little interactive graph will appear that upon clicking launches the LUT editor.

LUT intensity colors
Emission Colors

Image description:
Image of a maximum intensity projection (MIP) of a z-stack through a Drosophila macrophage imaged on a Leica TCS SP8X scanning confocal microscope. Nuclei are DAPI stained (cyan), alpha-tubulin was detected with a primary mouse DM1A antibody and a secondary anti-mouse antibody coupled to Alexa Fluor 488 (magenta), actin was labelled with phalloidin coupled to Alexa Fluor 568 (green). Image showing emission colors and intensity dependent colors assigned with the LUT editor in the Twin Slicer. Image provided by Eva Wegel, JIC BioImaging, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK.


Within the Twin Slicer, it is possible to do measurements on the images. You can set a marker to get exact coordinates and intensity values of a certain point in the image. It is also possible to add a ruler to the image, to determine a length of a part of the image in µm. The slicer will show the intensity profiles of each channel along the ruler in a separate plot. The Twin Slicer allows plotting of the intensity profiles of two images at once if two images are loaded into the Twin Slicer for comparison.

Image description:
Image showing the measurement of intensity profiles of a deconvolved image versus a raw image over a length of 1.73µm as indicated by the ruler.