Sync Animation on different skeletons?

Ok so, I am just starting to set up some prototype stuff. I am trying to make a modular pawn. Equipping different weapons and armor etc…

I have been using “SetMasterPoseComponent” in the character bp. I am not good with bp, but it is faster to get stuff working until it can be programmed in later.

This is 3 meshes. The green stuff is just padded armor, the legs and upper armor are separate. I’m trying to figure out the best way to handle the faulds (the metal plate that hangs down over the thigh)

I tried exporting it with 2 extra bones, but it gave several issues on import (trying to rebuild skeleton and failing). In some previews it worked somewhat normal. In others, they dropped to the floor, seemingly at the root/origin.

Overall I would like to give the faulds each 1 bone and let physics bounce them around. However, I don’t want to add the bones to the rig if they are only used in certain situations. I have several other meshes that have parts like this that I would like to incorporate, but it would get kind of crazy if I had to add bones to the base skeleton to fit everything. I do need it to be easy to swap out with other parts though. I’m not terribly familiar with UE4, especially blueprints. I am trying to be efficient, because I have heard that too many bones/skeletons can cause performance problems.

More questions while I’m on that topic: Does combining meshes that use the same skeleton double the bones? Or does it share the same skeleton? Follow up, would changing the skeleton by 2 bones make it load an entire skeleton just for that 1 mesh?

Of course, the end result should allow them to animate together.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This seems to be exactly what Ive been trying to figure out for quite a while now. If you dont mind Id get in on the action with my own case for this problem contributing a +1.
I have a character with a wing suit that has feathers (just like big bird wings). Its feathers all over the place and I have quite a bit of bones for the rig in place. So down to basics is just a rather complex piece of costume that has its own animation synced to the main body movement whenever she is wearing it.
Currently im solving this by having ALL bones in the main skeleton. By all I mean all… absolutely every single bone for body, face, hair, costume. It adds up to around 690 bones. Now in terms of performance I havent had any issues yet so Im quite confident it will hold up for this type of complexity. So this way I can use setMasterPoseComponent (smpc) and it will all work. The problem then becomes if I say want to add some new piece of outfit that has new bones required. The current system isnt scaleable, you make it and you leave it, you cant add more bones after that. Or am I mistaken.

Earlier I didnt have her wing joints in the main skeleton and whenever I would use the smpc thing all feathers would bunch down at the origin as OP described in his case.
I have yet found no way around just having all bones that would ever ever be used in the character included in the main skeleton - which to me doesnt sound particularly smart, in fact it sounds like a really stuipd way of doing this. So how do you guys do it? When you have modular charcter with different costumes that have their own additional bones (still some skinning coming from the main body but with helpers)? How do you keep them in sync using smpc but not having all those extra bones also in the main body skeleton?
Is there some extra node you can plug in before or after the smpc that will preserve the original position of the extra bones when using smpc?

My current asset content setup is this: Body comes in without clothes and is main mesh. Off this .fbx I got the main use skeletalAsset. Then I have all costume pieces as separate .fbx files. They contain the costume geos, a copy of the character body skeleton with all the required extra bones for extra costume deformation. When I import that I import it to the existing skeleton. This still preserves the bones, If I dont use smpc It actually works quite well except for those few frames where sometimes the costume goes out of sync. If I do use smpc all the extra bones that are in the costume asset but not in the main skeletalAsset will be snapped to 0 0 0.

The issue should be very well explained here, Id really love if some of the Epic devs/tds that know about this could chip in and shed some light on how to do this in a way that keeps scalability (ability to add new pieces of costume with new helper bones as we go) open but still has a rather optimized way of dealing with all these bones.

Sounds like we are in the same boat, Adeptus. I feel like most games handle this in some way and I don’t think they just have 1 master skeleton with every bone. That seems wasteful in the long run. There must be another way!