Google’s Nik Collection, with its attractive price,
Has introduced lots of new users to Nik software
New users have a lot to learn
My tutorial series is a good place to start
However, occasionally troubles arise beyond normal usage
Troubles with getting the software to run – period
Or – to run correctly
Here are a few tips to solve problems
Getting Nik Collection programs to run properly
Based on years as a Nik beta tester
Encountered 5 users with problems in just the past week
So I decided to update my 2011 post on this topic
1. When all else fails – or maybe even before trying anything else – the generic “fix-it” for many problems during beta for many, many testers was
Reinstall the Program
I suspect that once you move to the top of the Google Nik support queue this is going to be the first thing that they suggest
Try it now; save yourself time in the support queue later
1a. Install Order (recent note on test site)
“If you installed the Nik Collection first and then installed LR5, the plug-ins won’t show up
You’ll need to run the installer again”
This likely applies to any Nik Collection host program, not just LR
A specific case of the Reinstall the Program theme
2. Image Quality Issues – Nik programs were “early adopters” in using a video card’s graphic processing unit (GPU)
Not all cards work!
The problems usually show up in the form of image quality problems – odd colors, square patches with different tonality than the rest of the image, etc.
The solution is to open the program’s Settings menu and
Disable the GPU
You must restart the Nik program (& its host – PS, LR, Aperture) after doing this for it to take effect
You may want to try this even if everything seems fine just to see what speed impact using (or not) the GPU has
Much more GPU detail in item #5 below
3. Odd crashes and start-up difficulties – This next tip isn’t a cure-all but may solve your particular problem
The Nik Selective Tool is known to occasionally give problems (this is a little window that pops up over your host program – PS only)
The ST issues arise usually as a result of installing a new plug-in – key word here is install and not the plug-in itself
Maybe (hopefully) since the major (only) change by Google since their acquisition of Nik nearly a year ago was to the install & update routines, this problem has gone away
I don’t know because information to beta testers isn’t as free-flowing as before
4. Speed - Do not allocate more than 55-60% of available memory to Photoshop (go to Performance under Preferences in PS)
5. More on Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) induced problems posted at the Google test site 7/22/13
Even though this was an answer to a Color Efex Pro question, it applies to the entire collection
a.Video Card Drivers
Mac Users: Generally the video card that comes with your Mac will be updated automatically. The exception may be when there has been an additional video card added. In that case the user may need to go to the video card manufacturer’s website to download an updated driver for their secondary GPU. If you are using Mac OS Snow Leopard (10.6) ensure to update to 10.6.6 or higher as this can affect performance. If this does not apply to you, please go to the next section below.
Windows Users: Locate the manufacturer of the GPU as well as the model number. Once this is determined, it is then recommended to go directly to the GPU manufacturer’s website (best option) or if that is not possible to go to the computer manufacturer’s website (secondary option) to obtain an updated video card driver. It is NOT recommended to use Windows Update as in general we have found that these drivers are not updated as frequently. To identify which video card you have please do the following:
- Click on Start >Control Panel>System & Security >System >Device Manager and then click on the plus next to Display Adapter, this should display the make and model information.
- Go to the manufacturer’s website (you may need to search for it via Google) such as Nvidia.com and with the model number you should be able to search for the latest driver. If you are unable to locate the driver you may need to contact the manufacturer of your computer to obtain an updated driver.
- Once the latest GPU driver is located,download and install the new driver.
- Restart the computer and try your Nik program once again.
b. Disable partial GPU processingIf after following the above steps you are still experiencing the same issue, the next step will be to either disable the GPU (if possible) or force your Nik Program to not use the GPU (safe-mode). In order to disable the GPU in your Nik Program please do the following:
- If you are able to open your Nik program and can see part of the interface, see if you can click on the”Settings” button in the lower left.
- In Settings locate the section “GPU” and expand it, in this section you will see a check box “Enable GPU Processing”, uncheck this so the GPU will be disabled, then close the settings window.
- Close out of your Nik program (click Cancel), quit out of any and all host applications (Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture), and then relaunch your Nik program to see if this corrects this issue.
c. Disable all GPU processing
If you are unable to disable the GPU via Settings OR if the issue is still unresolved (e.g. your Nik program crashes or the buttons are not displaying correctly), please try the following steps below after quitting out of all host applications (Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture):Mac Users:
- Open a finder window (or double click on the Macintosh HD on the desktop) and navigate to:
Macintosh HD : Users : <user name> : Library :Preferences : Google : Color Efex Pro 4 (or whichever program….)
- OSX 10.7 or later: hold the Option key and go to Go > Library to access the User Library
- Locate the file, ColorEfexPro4.cfg and right-click and choose “open with…” and then click “Choose” and then locate the applications, “Text Edit” to open this file.
- At the very beginning (before all the text) of the configuration file, paste the following code below verbatim:
<key name=”UseSafeMode” type=”bool” value=”1″/>
- Now save the file, close it and relaunch your Nik Program and see if the issue has been resolved.
If the issue persists please reply with the Color Efex Pro 4 (or whichever) folder underUSERACCOUNT/Library/Preferences referenced above. This contains log and settings files that will help us understand what else may be occurring.
Click Start and type in the search box below: %localappdata% (exactly as shown with % symbols on each end),when the yellow folder “Local” is displayed in the search list, click on it.
The local folder will open, now double-click on “Google” followed by “Color Efex Pro 4″ (or whichever) and locate the file ColorEfexPro4.cfg (or whichever) and then double click to open. Windows will ask you which application to use to open this file, locate and choose “Notepad”to open.
At the very beginning (before all the text) of the configuration file, paste the following code below verbatim:
<key name=”UseSafeMode” type=”bool” value=”1″/>
Now save the file, close it and relaunch your Nik program and see if the issue has been resolved.
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Tags: Black and White, Black and White Conversion, Black and White Photography, Nik Collection by Google, Nik Software, Photography, Photography Tips, Photoshop, Post processing, SEP 2, Silver Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro 2