I did just read the recent “Advanced modeling question” thread that basically pertains to what I’m asking, but it didn’t seem to work too well in my situation. I’m trying to come up with a better workflow for localizing detail in meshes, such as not only cutting a hole for a fuel door in a car body, for example, but having both the hole and the door (once sub-surfaced) fit the precise shape of the blueprint (meaning extra edge loops to control sub-surfacing’s tendency to make squares circular).
In the puckerWire.jpg image, I have the fuel door hole made surrounding faces extruded inward so that edgeloops don’t have to run the entire length of the car body which would obviously add unnecessary faces and complicate later modeling and neatness. But, as you can see in the second pic, pucker1.jpg, the way I’ve done it leads to puckering and flaws that’d make for ugly renders. I tried applying the retopo tool ideas I saw in the movie linked in the “Advanced modeling question” thread, but I couldn’t seem to adapt it to my situation.