3D, or three dimensional, tattoos are becoming increasingly popular. These tattoos are incredibly detailed and hyper realistic and can make the viewer think the image is popping right off the skin. Shading, light, and blurring is used to add depth to the image and make it appear three dimensional. 3d tattoos are great for creating optical illusions, such as making an item seem embedded in or on top of the skin. To pull this off the artist needs to be careful in choosing the correct lighting. The shadow and highlight of a piece like this would need to look as if it is coming from the same light source or the 3d effect would be lost.

Another optical illusion that is popular is making it looks as if skin and tissue has been removed and bones are exposed. While very amazing to look at, It has been said that those who choose to have a tattoo with inner workings showing such as bone or perhaps robot parts may have a deeper meaning behind the artwork such as signifying inner strength or a feeling of detachment from the outside world. Another option for 3d tattoos is one that cannot be seen with the naked eye. With use of red and blue ink and strategically placed lines an artist can create a tattoo that pops with the use of 3d glasses.

This process is similar to the one used in 3d movies. The meaning of these tattoos is entirely based on what you decide to get. A tattoo of a beloved pet cat in the 2d traditional style would have just as much meaning as that same cat depicted in the 3d style, but the art becomes more “real” and lifelike with the 3rd dimension.

Here are some of our favorite 3d tattoos: