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We present a new statistical shape-from-shading framework for images of unknown illumination. The object (e.g., face) to be reconstructed is described by a parametric model. To deal with arbitrary illumination, the framework makes use of recent results that general lighting can be expressed using low-order spherical harmonics for convex Lambertian objects. The classical shape-from-shading equation is modified according to this framework. Results show accurate shape recovery with respect to ground truth data.