Frequently Asked Questions & Troubleshooting Tips
Q. How does Lobster work with Photoshop?
A. Lobster processes your files by communicating with Photoshop to perform a very complex process (over 200 steps!) It takes advantage of the existing features of Photoshop and applies complex analysis to your image to modify it in a way that cannot easily be done by hand.
A plug-in, unlike Lobster, modifies Photoshop (by extending its functionality) - Lobster takes advantage of the tried and true methods of Photoshop and does not modify it or risk instability in any way.
Q. Do I need Photoshop to use Lobster?
A. Yes. Lobster is a Photoshop droplet and requires features specific to Photoshop. It will not work with any other graphics program (even those that may support Photoshop plug ins); however once Lobster has processed a file, any program that reads Photoshop layered files may be used on that processed file. Lobster can NOT be modified to work with Paintshop Pro or any other application.
Lobster Installation and Activation
Q. Lobster complains of a permissions error when I run it.
A. (Mac only) Make sure that before running Lobster for the first time, you copy it into your Applications folder. Lobster will not run successfully from the disk image. Once Lobster is installed, it will run correctly even from a locked Application folder allowing non-administrator users to use Lobster (e.g. in a classroom setting). (However it will still require access to temporary file space).
Q. I need to install Lobster on lots of computers. Can you make this any easier?
A. Please contact us and tell us your needs (number of computers and types, etc). We can address special requirements on a case by case basis. A self-registering version of Lobster can be provided (on application) to simplify matters in offline lab/large-scale deployments.
Q. Does my computer need to be online to register Lobster?
A. Lobster has an automatic activation process for computers which have access to the Internet. However to install it on a computer which does NOT have access to the internet you will need to go through a fairly straight-forward activation process to help us avoid piracy and keep the price of Lobster low. You will need to have access to another computer that is online to create an activation code that is specific to the computer you will be installing it on. The process may sound complicated but is really quite easy, need only be done once, and you will be stepped through it as part of the installation.
Lobster Licencing and Registration
Q. How is Lobster licenced?
A. In summary: you need one copy of Lobster per computer.
In a multi-user/laboratory/shared computer environment, Lobster is licenced on a per-computer basis. So if you have a lab of 30 computers, you need to buy 30 copies of Lobster. A self-registering version of Lobster can be provided on application to simplify deployment in lab situations.
In a private/single-user environment, we consider a laptop and a desktop used primarily by the same person to be a single 'computer' - so you may buy one licence of Lobster and install it on both of your personal computers. Naturally, you also need to have Photoshop CS2 or CS3 installed already.
Q. Can I give Lobster to my friends?
A. No. Please DO show them Lobster in action on your own computer, and direct them to this website. Lobster is reasonably priced and by supporting us we will be able to produce new software in the future to further enhance your digital work.
About How Lobster Works on Your Files
Q. What can I use the Luminosity Layer for?
A. Read more about the Luminosity Layer here.
Q. What can I use the Chromaticity Layers for?
A. Read more about the Chromaticity Layers here.
Q. What happened to my History!?
A. Unfortunately as part of the Lobster process your History must be reset. So long as you permit the restoration of your workspace at the end of the process the number of History steps in your original settings will still be available to you, but their contents will be lost.
Q. Why can I only process one image at a time?
A. This is due to a technical limitation in Photoshop. However Lobster is best suited to individual attention to each image, rather than batch processing. We expect you will want to work with and commit each image individually. If you feel that it would be useful to you to batch process images through Lobster please
and we will look at developing a solution.
Q. Does "Lobster" preserve the transparency from my original file?
A. No, during the "Lobster" process that transparency is lost. However, with some preparation this can be avoided. You can load transparency as a selection between any open files that have the same pixel dimensions. If the position of the selection edges is suitable, you then use Edit > Clear to restore the transparency.
Q. What will happen to my text layers, adjustment layers etc?
A. Lobster flattens any image given to it. Lobster is designed to work on a complete, coherent image. So either use it to process images before incorporating them into more complex works, or use Lobster to alter a final image after all other manipulation by layer is complete.
Q. When I turn off the "Original" layer and the "Luminosity" layer the appearance of my image does not change. Surely this is not correct?
A. You are right, it is not correct. Lobster is dependent on a couple of (standard) Photoshop settings. Have you followed the instructions in the "Preparation" section of the manual? It is particularly important that you set the New Channel Options as described in the manual.
There is also the possibility that your Photoshop preferences have become corrupted. You should consult your Photoshop information sources for "restoring default settings". You will have to then reset your preferences in Preferences, Color Settings and elsewhere, but then, Lobster will work as expected.
Q. The examples in "Exercise in Curves" are very powerful but why dont you show an "after" shot to show that Loster works?
A. Any screen shot that could be shown could be a fudged fraud. Lobster works, and it can revolutionise the tonal/colour practise of careful image makers and those who require quick fixes particularly in their files' tonality.
Who should I contact if my question is not answered here?
with your serial number and a complete description of your problem and we will attempt to address the issue as quickly as possible.
You can also visit the Alternative Photoshop forum to discuss Lobster with other users. Please note this forum is provided by an independent third party and urgent requests should be addressed to the email above.