For validation of forming simulations a methodology, using optical shape measurements, is here presented. In this work, the shape of a sheet metal component with complex geometry is measured using projected fringes. The component in consideration is a closed section steel profile that is formed using a forming tool. The shape is measured using the reduced temporal phase unwrapping scheme and calibration data for the calculation of absolute coordinates in the local coordinate system. Local 3-D coordinates from several measurements of this long object are merged together through a feature based stitching program. To validate the finite-element model, the final shape of the forming simulation is compared to the results from the shape measurements. Since no computer aided design model exists for the formed beam, the features in shape of the measured object are used as references when comparing results.