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In this paper, we show how a statistical model of facial shape can be embedded within a shape-from-shading algorithm. We describe how facial shape can be captured using a statistical model of variations in surface normal direction. To construct this model, we make use of the azimuthal equidistant projection to map the distribution of surface normals from the polar representation on a unit sphere to Cartesian points on a local tangent plane. The distribution of surface normal directions isdoi:10.1109/tpami.2006.251 pmid:17108367 fatcat:7y6jqn2qofhm3ahwxla5x2axcm