The Save tab at the top of the Main Window provides commands to store files on disk, and to send scene parameter data to the operating system clipboard.
The M3I Image + Parameter file is the native format of Mandelbulb3D. It always stores the rendered Image (before Postprocessing), fractal parameters found in the Formulas window, lighting and shading data in the Lighting window, and all program settings in the Main window. Settings in other windows are not stored in the M3I file. For example, the Animation Maker window saves and loads data in its own format, the .M3A file.
.M3I is a binary format and cannot be read or edited by humans.
If the Image checkbox is enabled, the Save .M3I button stores the pixel data of the frame buffer (displayed image) after all Postprocess options such as Reflections and Depth of Field. If the Image checkbox is disabled, Postprocess options are not saved.
The .M3P Parameter file format stores data from the Formulas, Lighting, Postprocessing, and Main windows. It does not store any image data. .M3P is also a binary format, not human-readable.
Since .M3P is a binary format that stores parameter data only, file sizes are very small. The small file size makes it possible for Mandelbulb3D to automatically save a history of changes to disk. Inside the Mandelbulb3D installation folder is a subfolder named History. When the Calculate 3D button is pressed, Mandelbulb3D stores the current scene parameters to an .MP3 file in the History folder. History files are organized in subfolders by date, and files are named according to the current time.
Although Mandelbulb3D has no direct support for any human-readable file format, the To Clipboard button provides an interface to text documents and makes it easy to share scene parameters online. Users commonly post parameters directly to Internet forums using this method.
To save scene parameters in ASCII text file, or to post to a text forum, click the To Clipboard button. The parameters are temporarily stored in the operating system's clipboard, in RAM. Paste the contents of the clipboard into a text file or forum post. Parameters may be loaded from the operating system using the From Clipboard button on the Open tab.