The acousto-optic effect, in which an acoustic wave causes variations in the optical index of refraction, imposes a fundamental limitation on the determination of the normal velocity, or normal displacement, distribution on the surface of an acoustic transducer or optically reflecting pellicle by a scanning heterodyne, or homodyne, laser interferometer. A general method of compensation is developed for a pulsed harmonic pressure field, transmitted by an acoustic transducer, in which the laser beam can transit the transducer nearfield. By representing the pressure field by the Rayleigh integral, the basic equation for the unknown normal velocity on the surface of the transducer or pellicle is transformed into a Fredholm equation of the second kind. A numerical solution is immediate when the scanned points on the surface correspond to those of the surface area discretization. Compensation is also made for oblique angles of incidence by the scanning laser beam. The present compensation method neglects edge waves, or those due to boundary diffraction, as well as effects due to baffles, if present. By allowing measurement in the nearfield of the radiating transducer, the method can enable quantification of edge-wave and baffle effects on transducer radiation. A verification experiment has been designed.