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Static Shadows

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I''ve been working on a landscape engine for a while, and now I''m ready to start working on handling shadows. The game that this engine is being designed for will likely have a relatively high number of polygons being rendered every frame, so speed is especially important. Right now I just want to work on handling shadows for static objects, such as trees, rocks, buildings, etc. basically everything that can have precalculated shadows. Later I will work on handling the shadows for character models and other non-static geometry, so if there is a good method for doing the static stuff that could be extended to do very basic (again, speed is of the essence) dynamic shadows, all the better. I''m looking for (detailed) descriptions of possible techniques, or links to sites that might help. I haven''t had much luck doing searches for shadows. None of what I found was appropriate for something this simple. I''d really appreciate any help.

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I used to use lightmaps for static shadows. To generate
a lightmap I would color-code all objects (so that terrain is, say, white, while trees and stuff are black) and render a square fragment of terrain (with trees etc) as it would be seen from the light''s point of view. Then I''d render this same fragment as seen from top straight down, using previously rendered light-view image as projected texture. Then I''d just smooth the final image.

That''s a very simple method ''cos it doesn''t handle self-shadowing terrain nor can it tolerate low-aspect light sources (like setting sun, for instance)

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