Three-dimensional coordinates of osseous biological landmarks located on computed tomographic (CT) images provide a valid geometric model of a class of anatomical information present in a CT image. Sets of landmarks located on CT images have been used to determine the changes in form that occur during growth of the head. Finite-element scaling analysis (FESA) provides a quantitative and graphic mapping of a younger individual into its older configuration that can be expressed as the magnitude and direction of change that occurs due to growth at each biologic locus. The authors compare the use of various finite-element types (wedges, hexahedra, tetrahedra) in the modeling of the human cranial base for the analytical description of growth. FESA quantifies differences between forms at each landmark in terms of the magnitude and direction of change (in 2-D or 3-D) required to produce the target from the initial morphology. To compare forms using FESA, objects are discretized into contiguous finite elements using landmarks as vertices. Differences between forms are measured in terms of strain at landmarks.