Course paper / final thesis

Automatic parametrization of cascaded shadow maps for terrain visualizations at planetary scale

Starting date


Duration of contract

6 months

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Goal of this thesis is to develop heuristics for optimal parametrization of cascaded shadow maps for very huge outdoor scenes.

In DLR’s Institute for Software Technology, an open source Virtual-Reality simulation of our Solar System is being developed. With sophisticated level-of-detail-algorithms, high resolution digital elevation models and satellite imagery, entire planets and space missions can be explored in real-time. Light and shadow play an important role in realistic space simulations. One approach of shadow computation are “cascaded shadow maps”. However, there are a lot of parameters which can be used to tweak the quality and efficiency of the shadow algorithm.

In the scope of this thesis, a system shall be developed which takes several factors (such as user’s view direction, distance to the planet’s surface or the distance to the horizon) into account in order to automatically create an optimal parametrization of the algorithm. The impact of each parameter on the shadow quality and algorithm performance shall be discussed. Finally, tests and benchmarks shall prove the efficiency of the implementation.

Your qualifications:

  • Computer Science student or similar
  • Good programming skills with C++, OpenGL and GLSL
  • Experience in working with HTML, CSS and JavaScript is a plus
  • Preferably experience in working with Linux

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Mr. Simon Schneegans
Institute for Software Technology

Phone: +49 531 295-2333

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Vacancy 50334

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DLR site Braunschweig

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