Mandelbulb3D/Reference/Save Pic

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Save Pic tab[edit | edit source]

Mandelbulb3D's native image format, .M3I, is unique, and unsupported by any other application. For viewing or editing images in other applications, or for final delivery, Mandelbulb3D can save image files in three bitmap (pixel-based) file formats: .JPG, .PNG, and .BMP. Use the buttons on the Save Pic tab of the Main Window to save to these non-native image formats.


The resolution of the saved image depends on the current state of the Viewing and Image settings. What you see is what you get. If the image is displayed with a Viewing setting of 1:2, and saved as .PNG, .BMP, or .JPG, it will be stored at half resolution.

PNG button[edit | edit source]

Press the PNG button to save the currently displayed Image as a .PNG or .BMP file.

.PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is generally the best option for saving out of Mandelbulb3D. .PNG is a losslessly compressed format, meaning it reduces file size without discarding any data. .PNG files can be viewed, edited, and posted online using any operating system or browser.

.PNG output preserves Mandelbulb3D's native RBG color space. Mandelbulb3d saves .PNG files with eight bits per RGB channel, with no transparency. There is no support for 16 bit per channel, high dynamic range PNG.

Mandelbulb 3D can also save to the Microsoft .BMP (Bitmap) image format. There is no compelling reason to use .BMP. It is uncompressed, meaning it consumes more storage, and it is not supported by web browsers.

PNG Parameters[edit | edit source]

If the png par checkbox is enabled, the scene parameters are stored in the header of the PNG file. Mandelbulb3D can't actually read these parameters, but they can be viewed in other applications such as Gimp.

JPG button[edit | edit source]

Press the JPG button to save the currently displayed image as a JPEG file.

.JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a lossy compression format. It stores images in the YCbCr color space, which requires conversion from Mandelbulb3D's native RGB color space. Additionally, pixel data is discarded according to research in human vision. In other words, .JPG throws away information that humans are not likely to see anyway.

This can be a problem if the file is edited after compression. Compression artifacts may become visible if the size, contrast, etc. are edited. For this reason, graphics professionals use JPG as a delivery format only. It is bad practice to save the only version of an image to a lossy format, because the discarded image data can never be recovered. The best practice is to save to a lossless compression format (e.g. .PNG) and then possibly convert to a lossy format for distribution. However, it should be noted that most online platforms such as Facebook will recompress any uploaded image. To help preserve the quality of your work online, upload .PNG files instead of .JPG if possible.

JPG Quality[edit | edit source]

The numeric entry field labeled jpg q determines the amount of lossy compression applied. A value of 100 applies the least amount of compression available, and results in the best image quality. A value of zero applies the greatest amount of compression.

Z-buffer button[edit | edit source]

The Z-buffer records the distance of each pixel from the camera as a grayscale value. Press the ZBUF button to save the Z-buffer as a .PNG or .BMP file. Mandelbulb3D only saves eight bits of Z-buffer data, for 256 levels of distance from the camera. This makes the Mandelbulb3D Z-buffer unsuitable for post effects such as depth of field. However, the Z-buffer data is very useful for compositing. An opaque fractal object can be separated from the rendered background in a compositing application using the Z-buffer as a clipping mask, also known as a matte or luminance key.

Sharpen[edit | edit source]

The up and down arrow buttons labeled sharp apply a sharpening filter after the image is rendered. There are four options: zero through three. Zero disables sharpening. Higher values apply more sharpening.

Sharpening is designed to prevent overly soft output when the Viewing option in Viewing and Image settings is set to values of 1:2 or 1:3. The Mandelbulb3D scanline renderer has no anti-aliasing filter to soften jagged edges, sometimes known as "pixelation". The only way to antialias images in Mandelbulb3D is by oversampling. The image is rendered at high resolution and then downsampled to a lower resolution for delivery. The Viewing option automates this process by displaying the image at a fraction of the rendered resolution. When the user saves an image, it is saved at the resolution displayed in the Image pane. Sharpening is available to reclaim some of the detail lost in the downsampling process.

Many users prefer to save at full resolution and downsample in another application. To do this, the Viewing option must be set to 1:1, which disables any Sharpening. The Sharpening filter is only active when Viewing at 1:2 or 1:3.

See Also[edit | edit source]