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In this article, 3-D image acquisition for high-speed machine vision using Fourier transform profilometry (FTP) with digital tilting-fringe projection is presented. FTP employing tilting-fringe patterns is proposed to achieve real-time 3-D machine vision. To achieve this, the mathematical modeling of FTP with tilting-fringe projection is presented and the critical condition for measuring maximum surface gradients is analyzed. Based on the methodology established, a 3-D optical machine vision system was successfully developed and two experimental examples were conducted to verify the feasibility and accuracy of the method.