There is never a shortage of awesome 3D tattoos – and it seems like the work out there just keeps getting better and more innovative.
3D tattoo pioneers like Jesse Rix and Winston The Whale have helped transform ordinary tattoos into masterful works of 3D art.
Some of these tattoos look so real they literally jump off of the skin. Others play tricks on the eyes, forming optical illusions that make the human body look impossibly cool.
No matter if you have zero tattoos or twenty, the following tattoos will inspire you to get your next ink in 3D.
1. Adding a masterful 3D touch to an existing tattoo
Most tattoos are 2-D (two dimensional), a 3-D tattoo adds an extra dimension to the art. These tattoos are intended to interact with the skin to create an illusion that it is above or popping out of the skin/body.
In the world of animation, 2D animation is also known as traditional animation. Think of the flat cartoons you adored as a kid.
2D animation relies on thousands of drawings that are shown quickly and in succession to make it appear like the drawings are living, moving characters.
2. Cat lovers can’t get enough of this 3D feline that literally pops off the skin, meow!
3D art adds an additional dimension: depth, or distance. This third layer of art tells the eye how much space exists between an object that is closer to the viewer, as well as farther away.
A combination of lighting, shadowing, blurring, and shading is used to create this effect.
3D art is a newer technique in the tattoo scene. It’s been around for about a decade and is becoming more popular with time. Therefore, instead of it looking like you have a cat tattoo, it looks like you have a cat popping out of your skin.
3. No words to even describe how cool this one is
Tattoo artists need extra skill to pull off these tricky creations. They must use areas of “high light” or shine, shading to create a rounding effect, and shadows to create depth and distance.
When done right, 3D tattoos look like they are floating on the skin, popping out of the skin, or a part of the body. 3D tattoos have a much more life-like appearance.
4. Small but realistic tattoo
They are equally great for creating optical illusions. You can make it appear like part of your skin is missing or peeling away to reveal a skull, alien, or the bright blue sky.
One of the most popular types of 3D tattoos involve making it look like something is sitting on top of the skin. The artist does this by rounding the subject of the design using a combination of highlighting and shading with the addition of shadows to the skin.
5. Smokin’ finger candles
When our eyes see shadows, our brain becomes convinced that we are looking at something sitting on top of the skin. That’s because shadows signify the existence of space between the drawing and the skin.
In other words, 3D tattoos are really just the perfect dose of trickery.
6. Shattered glass tattoo
7. Scuba diver’s dream tattoo
8. Speaking of black holes…
9. Perfectly structured 3D blocks
10. Optical illusion tattoo
11. Gnarly tattoo by Danny and Domestic’s Tattoos in Mossend, Scotland
12. This tattoo is meant to symbolize the inner power in letting go of pain and freeing your mind
13. Skull with bees and honey – a sweet twist on a sinister image
14. So awesome!
15. This tattoo by Jesse Rix was inspired by artwork by @borisipsum
16. Butterfly poppin
17. 3D blow pop art
18. 3D Pink Floyd work of art