Instanced Skeletal Mesh Component for BP

Hey Epic,

Would it be possible to get an Instanced Skeletal Mesh Component for games with an extreme amount of characters?

Just curious,


No, but if there are some plans, please share

My guess as to why it’s not implemented already, is that it would be pretty difficult to make a generic system that could be used along side with cpu skeletal meshes.
I haven’t tried to implement it in UE4, but there are several directx examples, which are pretty old by now. The gist of idea is that when you use instanced rendering in DirectX or OpenGL, for each instance you can pass an array of custom data - matrices or vectors. ISM already does this (transform matrix for each instance + random float). The nuance with skeletal meshes is that you have to pass array of the bones (already posed to proper frame of animation) and then using known bone index and weight (baked into vertex) skin each vertex. It’s a bit of math but there are example of code if you search for it on MSDN. This technique has a limit on amount of bones, I don’t know what current limit is, in past it was something like 64 matrices per instance, would expect it to be much larger nowadays.
All this requires some c++ and shader coding, can’t do it just with materials. I was thinking of using this for tank suspension, but can’t add this as a plugin with current UE4 limitations.