The performance evaluation of 3D reconstruction techniques is not a simple problem to solve. This is not only due to the increased dimensionality of the problem but also due to the lack of standardized and widely accepted testing methodologies. This paper presents a unified framework for the performance evaluation of different 3D reconstruction techniques. This framework includes a general problem formalization, different measuring criteria, and a classification method as a first step in standardizing the evaluation process. Performance characterization of two standard 3D reconstruction techniques, stereo and space carving, is also presented. The evaluation is performed on the same data set using an image reprojection testing methodology to reduce the dimensionality of the evaluation domain. Also, different measuring strategies are presented and applied to the stereo and space carving techniques. These measuring strategies have shown consistent results in quantifying the performance of these techniques. Additional experiments are performed on the space carving technique to study the effect of the number of input images and the camera pose on its performance.