A new method that uses optical microscopy to determine the physical structure of lobster-eye x-ray optics is described. This approach offers the ability to predict x-ray performance without having to take an x-ray measurement. An overlapping series of images of the entrance and exit faces of an optic are obtained and examined by purpose-built software. A 24-parameter description of each channel is obtained from which a quantitative analysis of all the major optic defects, except surface roughness, is performed. Results for a planar lobster-eye optic are used to illustrate this technique and discuss its abilities as well as directions for future enhancements.