A reference material is defined as material, sufficiently homogeneous and stable with respect to one or more specified properties, which has been established to be fit for its intended use in a measurement process. Reference materials provide a simple definition of the measured quantity that can be traced to an international standard and can be used to assess the uncertainty associated with a measurement system. Previous work established a reference material and procedure for calibrating full-field optical systems suitable for measuring static, in-plane strain distributions. Efforts are now underway to extend this work to the calibration of systems capable of measuring three-dimensional deformation fields induced by dynamic loading. The important attributes for a dynamic reference material have been identified in a systematic and rational fashion, which have been subsequently translated into a generic design specification. Initial prototypes of candidate designs have been produced and evaluated using experimental modal analysis and digital speckle interferometry, and the results have been compared with finite element analyses. Based on the outcome of this initial evaluation, further refinements in design and manufacturing are proposed.