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Rendering Costs - Skeletal Mesh vs Draw Calls vs Matinee

So I'm curious which would be considered more expensive, 1 simple skeletal mesh (3 bones) with 3 draw calls or a Static Mesh, with 2 draw calls and a skeletal mesh with 2 (and only 2 bones).

So here's my setup. I have an escape pod that's going to act as the spawning point in my game. It consists of the Pod itself, a door with a glass window and a beacon light. The window and the light are going to each use a different material so that's where the 3 draw calls comes from. I also want the door to be animated however since the Pod itself is not going to be animated, I'm trying to figure out what's the best way to set things up. Should I make the pod into a Static mesh with 2 draw calls (Pod and Light) and then make the Door a skeletal mesh with 2 draw calls (Door and window glass) or should I just make the entire thing one skeletal mesh with 3 draw calls?

I'm not sure how much more expensive a skeletal mesh is than a static. If it were simply a 1 to 1 ratio then obviously the skeletal mesh with 3 draw calls would be best but maybe a skeletal mesh is more than twice as expensive than a static? My guess is the expense is negligible but if I have a 12 of these "Pods" throughout my level maybe it would make a difference.

Also, I was curious if animating a Static Mesh in Engine is cheaper than animating it as a Skeletal Mesh? For example it just occurred to me that the door could simply be a static mesh set to rotate with Matinee.

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asked Feb 11 '15 at 07:28 PM in Rendering

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