Pointcache is an old and essential, bullet proof method of getting what you expect out of a render.
Everything is 'baked' - plotted down and everyframe of movement and deformation is recorded. Its a great way of passing shots/elements along to the next artist without the fear of an accidently movement or delete of something essential in the scene or character rig.
This little script caught my eye recently. There are options out there already - SuperMesher from Boomerlabs and more recently Xmesh. Both of these feature advanced cache options (such as baking changing topology, but for a freebie script - this one is pretty damn good.