3DMark Wild Life uses a cross-platform graphics engine optimized for mobile devices and lightweight notebooks. The engine was developed in-house with input from members of the UL Benchmark Development Program.

The rendering, including scene update, visibility evaluation and command recording is done with multiple CPU threads using one thread per available logical CPU core. The purpose is to reduce the CPU load by utilizing multiple cores.

Graphics features

Clustered Light Culling 

The scene lights are culled and stored in a three-dimensional screen space grid. The light culling is done using the CPU before the rendering passes.

Geometry Rendering

Opaque objects are rendered using a deferred rendering method in the graphics pipeline using temporary G-Buffer targets for PBR material parameters. The shading is done using the clustered light information in linear HDR color space utilizing temporary G-Buffer data. In addition to the final lighting result, the deferred rendering pass outputs depth information for other subsequent rendering effects.

Transparent objects are rendered in an order-independent way using two passes. The first pass uses temporary targets to store accumulated color contribution and transparency weighted based on linear depth and the total transparency. The second pass calculates the final color from the accumulated color and transparency. The result of the transparent objects pass is blended on top of the final surface illumination.

Environment reflections are based on a single cube map. Geometry shaders and tessellation are not supported.


Particles are simulated on the GPU using compute shaders. The particles are self-illuminated. The particles are rendered at the same time with transparent geometries using the same order-independent technique.


Heat Distortion

The heat distortion effect is generated with the use of particles. For particles that generate the effect, a distortion field is rendered to a texture using a 3D noise texture as input. This field is then used to distort the input image in the post-processing phase.


Bloom is based on a compute shader FFT that evaluates several effects with one filter kernel. The effects are blur, streaks, anamorphic flare and lenticular halo. Bloom is computed in reduced resolution to make it faster.

Volume illumination

Volume illumination is computed by approximating the light scattered towards the viewer by the medium between the eye and the visible surface on each lit pixel. The approximation is based on volume ray casting and a simple scattering and attenuation model. One ray is cast on each lit pixel for each light. The cast ray is sampled at several depth levels. The achieved result is blurred before combining the volume illumination with the surface illumination.

Depth of Field

The depth of field effect is computed by filtering rendered illumination in half resolution with three separable skewed box filters that form a hexagonal bokeh pattern when combined. The filtering is performed in two passes that exploit similarities in the three filters to avoid duplicate work.

The first pass renders to two render targets. The second pass renders to one target combining the results of the three filters. Before filtering, a circle of confusion radius is evaluated for each pixel and the illumination is premultiplied with the radius.

After filtering, illumination is reconstructed by dividing the result with the radius. This makes the filter gather out of focus illumination and prevents it from bleeding in focus illumination to neighbor pixels.