In this study, we propose an original method for a 3D reconstruction of the relief of a textured rough surfaces. This 3D reconstruction is obtained through the elaboration of a photometric model, which takes into account camera and light source positions according to the plan of the rough surface. The proposed model expresses the gray level on the image according to the local relief variations. Three images of the same relief obtained under different angles of lighting are used to reconstruct the altitude map of the rough surface. The effectiveness of this method was checked by comparing the extracted relief to its corresponding relief obtained from a mechanical device method using autofocus laser sensor. This photometric model display good results in simulation experience and will be applied on real photographic images of road covering surface in order to study its wear level and its adherence.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.