A novel method is presented for the determination of position and orientation of interconnected human body segments relative to a spatial coordinate system. The development of this new method was prompted by the inadequacy of the techniques currently in use for recorded images. In these techniques, markers are fixed to certain points on the skin of the subject. However, due to skin movement relative to the skeleton and various other factors, the configurational coordinates derived from digitized marker positions may be grossly erroneous with disastrous consequences for the subsequent motion analysis. The new method is based on body-segment shape recognition in the video-image domain. During the recording session, the subject carries special, tight-fitting clothing which permits the unambiguous recognition of segmental shapes and boundaries from the recorded video images. The recognition is performed by means of an edge detection algorithm followed by the computation of the positions and orientations relative to the spatial axes system of all segments of the body model. The new method is implemented on an advanced, special high speed graphic system (Impuls, System 2400) based on transputer chips. The parallel processing capability of this system permits the simultaneous computation of the configurational characteristics for all segments visible in the image. After processing one complete image frame, the video digitizer is instructed to automatically proceed to the next frame, thereby enabling the user to automatically evaluate large amounts of successive frames.