Scattered-light photoelasticity provides a nondestructive approach for analyzing the stresses in a 3-D photoelastic model. However the applicability of scattered-light photoelasticity is quite limited. In this paper, a finite element scheme is proposed to simulate the fringe patterns resulted from scattered-light photoelastic experiment. Theoretical equations are derived to integrate the retardation of successive elements having various secondary principal stress directions. Two examples were studied. One is a diametric compressed circular disk model for simulating the non-rotating secondary principal stress direction case. The other is an L-shaped cantilever plate loaded at one end to simulate the case with rotating secondary principal stress direction. Both results are compared fairly well with the experimental results. Detailed finite element procedure and results will be presented and discussed.