Physical traits such as the shape of the hand and face can be used for human recognition and identification in video surveillance systems and in biometric authentication smart card systems, as well as in personal health care. However, the accuracy of such systems suffers from illumination changes, unpredictability, and variability in appearance (e.g. occluded faces or hands, cluttered backgrounds, etc.). This work evaluates different statistical and chrominance models in different environments with increasingly cluttered backgrounds where changes in lighting are common and with no occlusions applied, in order to get a reliable neural network reconstruction of faces and hands, without taking into account the structural and temporal kinematics of the hands. First a statistical model is used for skin colour segmentation to roughly locate hands and faces. Then a neural network is used to reconstruct in 3D the hands and faces. For the filtering and the reconstruction we have used the growing neural gas algorithm which can preserve the topology of an object without restarting the learning process. Experiments conducted on our own database but also on four benchmark databases (Stirling’s, Alicante, Essex, and Stegmann’s) and on deaf individuals from normal 2D videos are freely available on the BSL signbank dataset. Results demonstrate the validity of our system to solve problems of face and hand segmentation and reconstruction under different environmental conditions.