Structured light methods, including moire contouring have been demonstrated both technically and commercially as a useful tool for a class of 3D contouring applications. Popular analysis methods such as phase shifting, Fourier analysis, and simple fringe counting all have their strengths and weaknesses. Phase shifting has proven to be a powerful tool for complete surface mapping with good performance, but requires multiple images for the analysis. Fringe counting and Fourier methods offer good speed, but are more sensitive to noise factors. The trends in manufacturing toward tools for in-process measurements has lead to a variety of methods for high sped methods including color moire, multi-camera/sensor systems, and combinations of methods such as stereo with moire methods. This paper provides a comparison of some of these methods with particular emphasis on sources of noise and system error functions. Specific systems discussed include single image fringe counting using gradient methods, multiple camera systems using phase analysis, color encoding methods, motion based systems and image multiplexing methods. The analysis will attempt to separate accountable systematic error sources from random noise and the degree of participation of each in the data analysis methods.