Abstract In this work we present an inverse finite-element modeling framework for constitutive modeling and parameter estimation of soft tissues using full-field volumetric deformation data obtained from 3D ultrasound. The finite-element model is coupled to full-field visual measurements by regularization springs attached at nodal locations. The free ends of the springs are displaced according to the locally estimated tissue motion, and the normalized potential energy stored in all springs serves as a measure of model-experiment agreement for material parameter optimization. We demonstrate good accuracy of estimated parameters and consistent convergence properties on synthetically generated data. We present constitutive model selection and parameter estimation for perfused porcine liver in indentation, and demonstrate that a quasilinear viscoelastic model with shear modulus relaxation offers good model-experiment agreement in terms of indenter displacement (0.19 mm RMS error) and tissue displacement field (0.97 mm RMS error).