The Leendertz dual-beam symmetric illumination-normal observation arrangement is widely employed for real time evaluation of in-plane displacement components as well as surface shape. Instead of observing along the optical axis, we have examined the Leendertz arrangement by observing the scattered light along the direction of the illumination beams, and imaged it as two separate images onto the photo sensor of a CCD camera. The interferometer is a combination of two channels, each of which measures independently and simultaneously the information pertaining to either the in-plane displacement component of a deformation vector, or the surface relief variation of a three-dimensional object. In addition, a summary of possible measurements that can be carried out from the present arrangement is also highlighted. Experimental results using a four-frame phase shifting technique are illustrated. © 2001 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.