Atmospheric Entry – HLSL Geometry Shader

banner showing a capsule re entering with plasma effects
Download the Demo

This is a shader I wrote that is supposed to Simulate the behavior of an object entering the atmosphere of a planet at high velocities.
The effect uses a geometry shader written in HLSL to simulate the plasma ablating from the hull of such an object.
To achieve the effect, techniques such as shadow mapping and animated textures where used.

View the paper
Reference for the entry effect
Reference for the entry effect
Reentry effect from in side view plasma only
cassini amosphere entry works on any model
Orion capsule encased in plasma reentry shader

Implemented version without trail

The project was implemented in my schools Direct X 11 Engine, which is handed to students in a very basic version, so I needed to implement most important features myself, notably:

  • Multipass Geometry Shader
  • First pass -> basic blinn-phong shading of the space craft with extra directional light along the movement vector
  • Second pass -> Extruded edges depending on the angle to the move vector and a shadow map
  • Third pass -> foreward projection of front facing polygons to immitate air cussion infront of object
  • Skybox immitating the atmosphere
  • Shadow map rendering
  • Billboard particle system
  • High dynamic range and bloom post processing shaders

You can view the shaders when downloading the project in the resources folder.

Orion capsule re entering with plasma trail behind with directx 11 shader
Cassini probe entering with plasma trail