3D morphable models are low-dimensional parameterizations of 3D object classes which provide a powerful means of associating 3D geometry to 2D images. However, morphable models are currently generated from 3D scans, so for general object classes such as animals they are economically and practically infeasible. We show that, given a small amount of user interaction (little more than that required to build a conventional morphable model), there is enough information in a collection of 2D pictures of certain object classes to generate a full 3D morphable model, even in the absence of surface texture. The key restriction is that the object class should not be strongly articulated, and that a very rough rigid model should be provided as an initial estimate of the “mean shape.” The model representation is a linear combination of subdivision surfaces, which we fit to image silhouettes and any identifiable key points using a novel combined continuous-discrete optimization strategy. Results are demonstrated on several natural object classes, and show that models of rather high quality can be obtained from this limited information.