Blocky shadows, what can I do?

Hi, i’m currently working on an animation, and I decided to put my character into the scene i’ve been making for the animation to work on the lighting and get it right. I don’t really want to use that much ambient because I don’t want it to blow out the rocks. I’d like the light to cascade over the top of them so that there are nice shadows under them while at the same time have my characters lit enough to see the detail. I’ve played with the lighting a lot, but it seems I have the choice of using lamps to get the shadow effect I want, but the shadows end up too blocky, or I throw in some ambient to get the shadows nice and smooth, but the shadow contrast sucks. Any suggestion on how I might do this would be super helpful, or direction to a good lighting tutorial on the kind of result i’m going for. I’m pretty new to blender, so I may be lighting it wrong all together. I can’t seem to include the blend file or even a small 2 MB image render. I know it would help in solving my problem but for some reason it says they are too large. I know others on this forum have attached much larger files than 2 MB, so I don’t know why it won’t let me. If anyone knows how I can get them uploaded, please let me know and I will. Thanks so much for reading.

Since I can’t upload the blend file and image, I figured i’d at least upload the image to photobucket and link it. So, here it is.

I can’t tell too well on this monitor, since I’m not at home, but I can see the blockiness that you are talking about and this appears to be geometry related, not lighting related. Low poly geometry has great differences in incidence angles, so there are bound to be harsh shadow borders. If you are talking about shadows in general, and not wanting hard edges when cast, you will have to increase the shadow samples. This will not, however eliminate harsh borders between faces on low poly objects.

Hope this helps a bit.

Thanks ajm, it did help. I added a subsurf and it did smooth out the shadows. Unfortunately, the the poly count on the rock walls is pushing 30,000 now, but I suppose it’s better than shadow artifacts.