Instanced meshes and animations

I have a game that is made up of a lot of instanced meshes (maybe 50 meshes each with 500 or so instances) , and at any given time only a handful of them need to animate.

Is it good practice to swap out instanced meshes with skeletal versions just for the sake of animation, and then swapping back to an instance when the animation is complete?

One of the developers would know better, but I wouldn’t think that it would matter as far as performance goes. Skeletal meshes can be instanced, which just means there are copies of a single thing from the content browser. The thing that will lower performance is the number of things and the animation playing, along with things like shadows.

When I say instanced meshes of course I mean instanced STATIC meshes. A slight oversight on my part that is kinda important.

I wonder if the gain is notable in swapping skeletal and static instances or if it really doesn’t matter.