As an example, see how the shape sitting on top of the sphere has an edge and is clearly separate? I used shrink wrap and solidify to do this. I want the shape to have a smooth edge that perfectly blends into the sphere. I tried joining these two shapes and retopologizing and its ok but not as precise as I want.
Yeah, this is also what I had in mind. Something you can play around with:
create and inset loop and the boundary of your shape
add all vertices to a vertex group, assign 0 to everything, and 1 to the outermost loop
add more loops (the vertex weights will automatically be interpolated)
4)add some modifiers:
shrinwrap_smoothing.blend (398.1 KB)
I would try knife project + extrude + edge crease.