Structured light systems have used many forms of means to create structured patterns ranging from laser lines and
physical gratings to current programmable projectors. There are both good and bad aspects of each method,
including considerations of contrast, brightness, coherent noise, line stability, and noise associated with the shape of
the pattern of lines created. This paper will compare the major means of structured light projection including laser
lines, white light gratings, LCDs, DMDs, and LCOS projectors. These method will be analyze with respect to the
key performance parameters of the projection means as applied to the most popular means of analysis, including
both line center and phase shift analysis. Finally, the results of efforts to characterize the effects of drift of the
patterns will be detailed within the context of efforts to obtain absolute distance information at the few micron level.