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Shadows for a largescale scene

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Hey everybody, A project I'm working on calls for a large outdoor scene with a perspective from high above that can include entire islands and many small objects on and around the island. We're having an issue with shadows, however. We've implemented shadow mapping because it seemed like the obvious choice for such a scene. But we didn't count on the fact that the quality and accuracy of the shadow map is based on a tight Light View Projection matrix. The problem is, in order to fit everything in the scene into the Light View Projection matrix, we have to push set the range of it's Near-Far clip planes to something so high that the shadows look blocky and choppy even at high resolutions ( 2048. At 4096 they look okay, but the app chugs ). I'm hesitant about just replacing them with stencil shadows because of the size of the scene and the performance hit, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas?

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I think the general consensus nowadays is to use a technique like Cascaded Shadow Maps (CSM) or Parallel Split Shadow Maps (PSSM) for such scenes.

Regards,
ViLiO

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