"Binding" One Object to another, or Subsurfacing Vertex Groups. Is it Possible?

Thanks for reading, so I have a single mesh with a lot of internal structure. The idea is to make it as realistic as possible, which includes being able to slice this thing in half and see the detail on the inside. The problem that I have is that I need to subsurface the mesh and use a displacement mapping for some non-uniformity stuff. I can’t seem to do this without the inner structure “poking through” the outer mesh. This is a very large object with lots of vertexes, so some options which could work on smaller objects may not work here. What I’d like to do is make it so that any place that the inner mesh would normally poke through, it wont. Simple sounding enough right? Is there a way to separate the objects and make one “bind” the other so that it wont poke through or something similar. I’d like to have the inner and outer mesh touch but not pass each other. For a static object, this would not be a difficult task, but the object is attached to shape keys that deform the mesh a great deal. Alternative to this solution is the reason why the mesh is poking through. When I subsurface the mesh, I don’t want the top and bottom to be affected by the inner mesh, I would like it to be subsurfaced and displaced independently of the inner mesh. So if there is a way to do this instead, I would be very appreciative to hear it! Thanks!

An image might make your fairly complicated explanation more clear. Sounds like you might want to investigate cloth or softbody, both have collision detection to prevent poke through. To separate a mesh into two or more objects, select the verts that will become a separate object, then type p>>Selected. Subsurf affects an entire object, although you can select edges you don’t want to be subsurfed and crease them with Shift+E.

Well with this technique that you’ve suggested, I run into a problem. At least for softbodies the mesh has far to many vertexes for it to be feasible (About 33000), and even if it was possible to compute, I run into the second problem of not being able to control the structure with both softbodies and a lattice at the same time, unless you know a way to make this happen which I would LOVE. For the second suggestion, i.e. using subsurf and decreasing the crease, I have a problem which I think may be resolvable but I’m not sure how. I have a displacement mapping on my object, and I want to smooth that using subsurface, but I also need it smoothed using the links and materials smooth. The problem with this approach is that the inner geometry (Imagine a cube subdivided once with a point in the middle that connects to the point on each face, i.e. what is often done for softbodies), never seems to have correct normals. Is there a way to make the smooth simulator act as if there is no inner geometry so that the normals are drawn correctly?

Pictures of what you are trying to accomplish would make advice given so much more relevant. I really have a hard time visualizing what you are trying to do given your verbal description. I’m a visual person.

That said, I suspect you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. By that, I mean it sounds like you are attempting something using workflow or procedures that work in some other software package, possibly using a mesh originally modeled in some other software package.

If that’s the case, here’s what I’ve noticed about translating from another package to Blender: it’s usually possible to do the same things, it’s rarely possible to do them the same way. To get advice on how to do what you are trying to do in Blender, you should really consider posting an image of the problem. I know I’m shooting in the dark, here, and I suspect no one else has put their 2 cents in because they haven’t a clue either.

bumpity bump

Just bumping will not make it irrelevant what Orinoco said so
A) you either show some pics or screenshots of the problems so people can understand it better.
B) you provide the blend so we can have a go at troubleshooting your stuff.

If I understand you correctly you have two separated meshes. The inner and the outer and you are now subsurfacing the outer and not the inner mesh wich makes the inner poke out of the outer mesh. So the solution to your problem would be to have the inner and outer mesh be part of the same mesh and subsurf both. But without further help (see A and B) it is more guessing then helping.