Course paper / final thesis

Screen-space soft shadows for high-resolution terrain rendering

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 compare and implement various screen-space shadowing techniques for 2.5D elevation data.

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. However, conventional approaches such as cascaded shadow maps are not suitable for many scenarios. This is especially true for scenes like in the screenshot above with a narrow sun angle, many small details, short shadows and a small depth range. In these cases, other approaches such as screen-space shadows are very promising.

In the scope of this thesis, a survey on existing screen-space soft shadow (SSSS) algorithms shall be performed, taking into account the specially demands optimization opportunities of 2.5D terrain rendering. The most promising algorithm(s) will be implemented and optimized for this special use-case. Finally, tests and benchmarks shall prove the efficiency of the implementation and the limitations of the approach shall be discussed in detail.

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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Technical contact

Mr. Simon Schneegans
Institute for Software Technology

Phone: +49 531 295-2333

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Vacancy 50341

HR department Braunschweig

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DLR site Braunschweig

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