Changing (higher level) topology while keeping rigging and animation?

I think this is a somewhat basic question so I’m posting it here:

I have a basic, rigged, basemesh of a hand and I’d like to use this for blocking out the whole animation and storyboard and once that is settled I’d like to go back and replace/refine the hand mesh without having to redo the rigging, weighting or animation.

Is this possible and if so, how?

Of course I expect some restrictions will apply. I’ve got a vague idea that using the multires modifier could work, editing the higher levels while keeping the rigged basemesh. Ideally I would want to be able to transfer a mesh in from another application and use that as the high-res mesh.

Any ideas?

Multiple objects/meshes can be controlled by one armature. Typical setup is to put hi-res mesh on one layer and a low res proxy on another and switch layers as needed. If linked into a scene file I think put both in same group… or maybe not. Uh, I forget the details now but it’s a simple swap that can be done in your scene file. Same method is also used for swapping different clothed characters and such from a linked-in character file, all rigged with the same armature.