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In this paper, we proposed a new algorithm, referred to as inverse function analysis (IFA) method based on the derived mathematical model to reconstruct 3-D surfaces using fringe pattern profilometry (FPP) technique. Compared with traditional methods, our algorithm has neither the requirement for the structure of projected fringe patterns, nor the prior knowledge of the characteristics of projection systems. The correctness of inverse function analysis (IFA) method has been confirmed by simulation results. It can be seen that the measurement accuracy has been significantly improved by inverse function analysis (IFA) method, especially when the expected sinusoidal fringe patterns are distorted by unknown nonlinear factors.