A multiscale contour matching method using basis functions is presented. In this scheme, curves are parametrized by the curve length s and s′, and contours are matched by finding a matching function s′=f(s). A set of basis functions, which are monotonic and continuous in the interval [0,1], are designed. The sum of these weighted basis functions approximates f(s). The weight of each function can be computed through optimization of the objective function. Multiscale schemes can make matching insensitive to initial value. Experimental validation is carried out with a sequence of human active contours and the result shows this method is effective.