3D tattoos are increasingly popular. When they are done right they look fantastic. However they have to be drawn by a talented artist due to the use of varying colour tone, blurring and shadowing that are necessary to create the effect. A traditional 2D tattoo can be drawn by someone with little skill simply by filling in a template. This can’t be done with a 3D inking so your choice of tattoo artist is critical. If you want a 3D tattoo you should be prepared to travel to an experienced 3D artist. Be prepared to pay a premium too. It takes much longer to complete a 3D inking than a 2D, lots of subtle colour variations are needed and template use is limited. In addition quality 3D effects can only be produced with the most up to date tattoo equipment and inks.
Most 3D tattoos are designed to look 3D to the naked eye however there is another variation. These tattoos are designed so they only appear 3-D when viewed with 3D glasses. They will be a simple outline repeated once in blue and once in red slightly offset. So they look a bit strange without 3D glasses. As a result they are not very popular.
3D tattoos are relatively new but a few themes have already emerged. There are lots of examples of good insects that look like they are sitting on the skin. These tattoos range from beautiful butterfly through to creepy looking spiders. Another common theme is for the tattoo to look like it is revealing the inside of the body. These tattoos can be anatomical – showing bone and muscle or they can reveal robotic, demonic or flaming interiors!
Of course the technique can be used on any tattoo design to make it pop and look 3D and if you are lucky you might be able to have a traditional tattoo converted into a 3D one. Not all tattoos will convert well but some can be transformed by adding a little shadow and shading some of the edges and colour blocks. Again the use of an experienced 3D artist is recommended as this will all have to be done freehand.