Three-dimensional (3D) shape measurement of specular objects plays an important role in intelligent manufactur- ing applications. Phase measuring deflectometry (PMD)-based methods are widely used to obtain the 3D shapes of specular surfaces because they offer the advantages of a large dynamic range, high measurement accuracy, full-field and noncontact operation, and automatic data processing. To enable measurement of specular objects with discontinuous and/or isolated surfaces, a direct PMD (DPMD) method has been developed to build a direct relationship between phase and depth. In this paper, a new virtual measurement system is presented and is used to optimize the system parameters and evaluate the system’s performance in DPMD applications. Four system parameters are analyzed to obtain accurate measurement results. Experiments are performed using simulated and actual data and the results confirm the effects of these four parameters on the measurement results. Researchers can therefore select suitable system parameters for actual DPMD (including PMD) measurement systems to obtain the 3D shapes of specular objects with high accuracy.