How to keyframe visibility in skeletal mesh?


I have a rigged mesh in Maya I want to import into UE4. I then want to import several different animations.

The problem is that for certain animations I need to hide certain mesh objects in the rig, but the workflow I’m using right now is to just bake out the animation on the bones and export them, which means Unreal has no idea which parts should be hidden. Ideally I would like to be able to hide and unhide parts of the mesh in the same animation.
How do I go about doing this?

It’s a bit of a hassle to create a new rig for every animation just to delete the meshes we don’t want, partly because we use references in our pipeline. That would also not allow me to hide and unhide meshes in the same animation.


I was thinking that one solution if it’s not possible to actually keyframe visibility of the mesh that I could apply special materials on each of the meshes that I need to hide, and then just keyframe a material switch or change in Unreal. Do you guys think that might be a viable solution? Is there a way to do this where it doesn’t cast or receive shadows or reflections as well?