Skin Clusters and exporting

Something I'm working on, whats the optimal way to rig if the number of skin clusters is a consideration? Skin Clusters take up time on export and I imagine on import altho its hard to say for sure since Unreal Doesn't say as much as it imports as Maya does while exporting.
The skinCluster binds only a single geometry at a time. Thus, to bind multiple geometries, multiple skinCluster commands must be issued. - maya Docs
So other than normal clean rigging practices, keeping object count low will help. So I guess the question is, when and how much do you merge objects together? b/c one might separate objects for shading group reasons. (more on that later)

Quick Tip #Obj to #Shaders

In Unreal engine as far as speed and optimization goes:
1000 objects with 1 shader is equal to 1 object w/ 1000 shaders
you have to cut down on one and/or the other to reduce draw counts.

Simple Optimization Testing

Play From Here in Viewport,
Then turn on the following stats ( ` button to bring up the command prompt):

stat fps (this will bring up the MS per frame)
stat unit (frame times for different parts of the engine)
stat d3d11rhi (this will give more interesting rendering info)

Take a screenshot of all to get an idea of the cost.
(Not that I'm already at this point in my demo game but I'm being taught this at work)

Animation Naming Convention

Pollock_run_fwd_pstlPollock running forward with a pistol
Pollock_idle_na_rfl = Pollock standing at idle no direction with a rifle

The weapon slot should be considered an extra description
It doesn't have to be a weapon, its whatever the anim is contingent on for that character/object. If all the runs are with this gun, then it has to be part of the name. If all these actions are after character is hurt... that's the descriptor.

Maya to Unreal Scripted

Wrote a tool (that's still name dependent somewhat) that strips the rig clean out and baked anim on the bind rig, etc. Nice and tiddy. All things appear smooth. I have no excuse now not to have a character running around in game by Friday. I had an FBX issue that held me up over the weekend, that was fixed with an update on Monday.

in case you've been wondering

I've been on my UDK blog more than here. I'll still come back here in a bit I've got some ideas and new tutorials to do, so sooner or later there will be a bunch of updates.

Success Rig & Anim import working!

I baked the bind rig, and deleted all constraints in the bind rig. Deleted the anim rig, then went through the DAG nodes and deleted everything expect the skin clusters and anim curves. (In future tests we'll figure out what specifically needed to be cleaned out) but as it stands now I even deleted bind poses (despite the warnings on FBX export). 

couple of things, when modeling in maya if you duplicate and mirror, meaning <<1, 1, 1>> mirrored to <<-1, 1, 1>>> it will reverse the normals on import. So either reverse the normals in maya on those pieces or freeze the scale transforms on the objects (maybe built into the rigging system) 

Also was getting some jacked up binds in Unreal with geo being offset from some joints (the left arm in my case). So I reset all joint rotations to <<<0, 0, 0>> at frame 1 (not keyed, just set manually) and exported all. That worked. 

Export selection never seemed to work, hence me having to really clear everything out.