The VK-9700 color 3-D laser scanning confocal microscope combines the capabilities of scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) and noncontact profilometry with the ease of use of a conventional microscope. The microscope has an 18,000X magnification, 0.001-micrometer precision and 3-D imaging. It performs a variety of noncontact 3-D measurements, including surface profile, roughness, 3-D and comparative measurements. The 3-D display works with the virtual trackball method and the use of a computer mouse to control the viewing angle, lighting angle, zoom level and Z-axis height. Three-dimensional images can be illuminated with pseudo-light when displayed on the screen. Adjusting the angle of the light in accordance with an object shades microscopic irregularities on the surface of an object.