Recent advances in facial scanning technology provide highly detailed faces, including fine wrinkles. However, because of the increasing complexity of the resulting models, it is necessary to reduce the amount of data while preserving small-scale facial features. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive surface splatting method to reduce the number of splats by optimizing the size and shape of splats using geometric and color information. Using the optimized splats, we can improve the rendering quality, especially in the visually sensitive feature areas. Our adaptive surface splatting is very effective to render massive facial data on tablet PCs or smartphones. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.