Cascading rotation billboard effect?

Hi guys, I’m trying to achieve a cascading effect of an animatronic billboard that shows 3 different ads.
I know how to animate the entire ad by rotating all the piceces at once-- but the Black Mesa prop will rotate the pieces starting from top to bottom.
I’m assuming there’s some animation controllers and math functions I’ll have to learn but if someone could point me in the right direction, I’d be really grateful!

Here’s the reference from Black Mesa:

For something like this, it was likely just done by hand. Unless you’re doing like 30 slats, then it’s the same 120 degree rotation on ~10 bones with a slight offset of about 2-3 frames. The sign is going to have 6 animation states for, say, images A, B, and C:

A Idle
A to B
B Idle
B to C
C Idle
C to A

Just make sure that the profile of your slats is an equilateral triangle and your pivot point is the true center of it or no amount of animation is going to make it look right.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21161113/random/rotating_slats.JPG

[editline]18th February 2015[/editline]

If you’re using max 2011+, here’s the max file: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21161113/random/slat_animation.max

I’ll keep it up for a few days or whatever.

Ah a million thanks! :dance: Looking at max file. I’m a newbie at animation so I’m guessing I’ll have to read up on how bones work.

Yeah it’d probably only take a few minutes to do manually by hand but I wanted to learn the proper way.

The ‘proper’ way that gets the best result in the least amount of time. I guess you could create some sort of animation controller using a formula driven helper system, but that is way more complex then it needs to be. Keep it simple!