The German "diploma" is the equivalent to the international "masters degree" in computer science. My thesis is titled "Methods for Real-Time Lighting", and is available for download at http://www.ca3d-engine.de/download.php?view.5
I'm very grateful to my supervisors and assessors Dr. Jan Kautz, Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Seidel, and Prof. Dr. Philipp Slusallek. Their generous help and assistance made the thesis possible -- thank you very much!
Diploma thesis download link: http://www.ca3d-engine.de/download.php?view.5This document presents three individual methods for real-time lighting: radiosity-based light-maps, dynamic Phong shading combined with stenciled shadow volumes implemented in programmable graphics hardware, and lighting with spherical harmonics. Each method is introduced and presented both from a theoretical and practical point of view. All methods have been implemented in the framework of the Ca3D-Engine. Wherever applicable, interesting algorithms and implementation details (such as optimizations) are pointed out and discussed in depth.
New aspects elaborated in this thesis include optimizations of shadow volumes for meshes that are organized in BSP trees and the presentation of the conceptual and algorithmic parallels between Spherical Harmonic Lighting and traditional light-maps with radiosity: Bounce-transfer SH light coefficients are precomputed in a way that is analogous to a typical radiosity algorithm, and the storage of the results is achieved similarly to that of regular light-maps. Moreover, algorithmic enhancements are presented, including per-pixel evaluation of SHL, the combination of SHL with normal-mapping, compression of SH coefficients, and filtering of SH rendering.