500 bones for a main character, is this bad for performance?

For my main character I’m using Makehuman nightlys to build the base mesh and skeleton (UE4 skeleon, 56 bones including the root). Then I import it with the beta .mhkx2 importer that adds a beautiful rigify controller (a rig controller for Blender). When I import this into Unreal it ends up being 489 bones. Now the only time I would use alot of these bones (like DEF_eyelidUpper.L) would be during matinees playing animations, I’d never actually use these bones within UE4 because trying to control 500 bones through blueprints or C++ is near impossible. 50 would be hard enough.

Would I see a performance hit when using that many bones vs the stock 56 that control the entire mesh in animations?

Thanks, theres no info on this that I could find online.

I figured out why it was at 500, it was exporting bones for the controller too. Fixed that, is ~160 bones too much for a main character or is that best for the cutscenes externally rendered and keep the hero character to around ~60?

Well depends one what kind of game and how many characters you expect to be in the same area at the same time so as to best practice you will need to test your design under what you expect the worst case will be under load.

There is a couple of ways to add loads, bots come to mind, but a character with 10 times the expected limits will give you a lot of usable numbers as by proxy it would be equal to say 10 characters of less resolution.

On the other hand if you need 160 to do the things that you want to do then that can be a LOD0 and you can use LOD1 for the 60 bone version or even less by the time you get out to LOD3