In this paper we propose an alternative method to build Active Shape Models. It avoids the use of explicit landmarks since it represents shapes by normal displacements relative to an average (domain) contour. By this we reduce the redundancy of the model and consequently the number of parameters in our representation. The resulting models have a significantly lower algebraic complexity compared to those based on landmarks. Additionally we show how to automate the generation of ASMs form sets of unprocessed training contours in arbitrary representation.