Believe it or not, not every client that we do 3D modeling or animation for manages to send sufficient reference materials. More often than not, we have to do the research before starting on any models, using Google searches, YouTube, encyclopedias, and anything else we can think of that might help. Lately, though, I think we’ve been lucky in that the materials have been coming to us.
One medical research client we have has been sending a constant stream of reference images and videos all throughout the project (it helps that they teach students with the very same material). We also have a client who, after much discussion regarding what their product looks like texture-wise, finally opted to actually send us product to work from. And while this isn’t without precedent, it’s a huge help in making project workflow faster and generating better turnaround on the final animations. Having an actual reference object goes a long way toward helping a 3D animator like myself create realistically textured and modeled 3D renders. So please, DDA clients of the world, don’t ever stop helping our designers/modelers/animators with great reference material!