Hi here is a script to simulate an unfolding effect for the faces of a mesh… it separate the faces and place bones on them. The idea of using bones is from the amazing scripts by Emu, in fact you can animate the meshes unfolded and rigged with those scripts with this little tool.
There are two operators, first one to separate and rig the faces, the other is useful to animate bones, it will work here but also on an armature from the skin modifier or many other bones hierarchies.
Just added a Flipping Cards option you can test with two sided materials… run both operators with this setting enabled.
Have fun, script is pretty slow so don’t try it on something with more than 2k faces.
edit: new version with some fixes and a little bounce option added
first operator is destructive, will separate all faces and even if it can be called again later and will try to restore mesh, things like indices will be changed… if you need to manually restore the mesh just use ‘Remove Doubles’
see you can sort mesh elements with built in Blender’s operator -use F6 to be sure to sort vertex + edge + face- this allows more control on animation using the ‘Mesh Indices’ option, remember previous tip
second operator is not destructive, it will only animate bones, so try it safely with different settings