I want to create a cube transition. Imagine the screen divided into, say, 24 blocks. And those blocks rotate to reveal the next scene.
I know I can do this by making a cube out of 6 3D layers, duplicating it, and parenting the layers to the face layer.
What I want to know is, how can I really polish this?
Here's is an example of an beautiful cube transition (not rotating, but close enough) from istockphoto.
to push the edges of the cubes into 3D as they rotate, yes, you must build them individually. It's not particularly difficult to build one, duplicate it, replace the layers, and parent them all to one (or to a null or to an expression spinner).
If you just need an elegant and lovely rotation transition, explore Card Dance and Card Wipe.
Referring directly to the iStock sample, you can get Shatter to do this but controlling the z-space without getting an explosion is advanced.