This paper presents a study of established two dimensional models which have been applied to the characterization of the preparation of engine cylinder liners and bores. These models are extended to three dimensions and quantified using a three dimensional stylus measuring system consisting of a computer controlled Talysurf 5 stylus instrument and a precision linear translation stage. Relocation techniques are then employed and the surface finish is assessed using a computer controlled laser measuring system. With reference to the original models it is shown that engine preparation techniques may be monitored using an optical assessment of this kind. Thus an alternative method of assessing the evolution of engine preparation is proposed for optically based techniques.