Can't you just use local tesselation?
I'll post up some images in a little while of a thing I did with subds/meshsmooth+epoly
Right, here we go. These pics are about 40-60Kb each, so I'll just post two and link the smoothed versions. They are also PNGs, so post if you have any trouble viewing them and I'll switch to GIF, but expect file size to go up about 10Kb each.
Here we go...
I created this thigh with a, for me, new technique. Thanks to Gnarly for giving me good ideas
I started with a cylinder in the sideview. As you can see, the structure of the hip joint lends itself pretty well to this. What I did next was give it a rough shape to fit the concept
The brown inner part was detached to make it easier when it came to the grooves. Anyway, to extrude downwards, I didn't extrude faces but used polymodeling techniques. In other words, I deleted the bottom of my cylinder and started shift+dragging edges. I find that this gives me go(o)d control over the mesh
To get the grooves, I just cut the mesh. Cut where you want grooves and seams. Then bevel edges, select newly created faces, bevel, extrude and finally bevel. The last bevel can probably be omitted, but I like to have useless detail
I used shapes as guides, early version here
, to cut the more fiddly details. As you see I've moved things around a little so they don't match up anymore
To get perfectly round smoothing on the inside, I used a trick I got from Gnarly. I put a cylinder at the center of the hole, gave it the same number of segments as the model (16 I think), and used 2d vertex snap to move the vertices to edge of the cylinder. It was a snap (pun intended) to get a perfect cylinder when the model is smoothed. Increase the radius and move the vertices of the next loop to get even better smoothing. Tweak a little and you're set.
Hopefully this will help someone
Got more stuff to show if there's interest.