Painting tattoos


Hey guys,

Been working on my texturing of late and I’ve been trying to find a nice method on how to paint tattoos onto my textures.

Does anyone have any insight into this?




What do you mean? Just take the design and project it on :shrug:

One thing that often bugs me about tattoos on CG textures is that people make them too black. Ink doesn’t stay black in the skin for long, and tends to fade to a dark, slightly blueish gray. Tattoos are only vibrantly black when they’re just done. The edges should also be subtley blurred, as the lines do become a little blurred over time.

Be sure also to add it to the bump and spec maps. Tattoos are sometimes very slightly raised in areas, and the skin of a tattoo is scarred so tattoos should be slightly more shiny than surrounding skin.

I know, I have lots.


They usually bump up at the edges, especially on larger areas of dark color meeting no colored or lighter colored skin.
Get some tattoo magazine and have a look. Avoid the new tattoos, they look better, with more contrast, but they usually are shiny because they are covered with vaseline and the skin around them is very, very red and swollen.


Thanks for your replies so far. This is a bit of an experiment for me, and I’d prefer my questions here aswell as research because I find the answers I get here are the most straight forward. Would help if I had tattoos myself I’m sure. :smiley:

I’m not particulaly interested in projecting my designs, I am most likely going to be spending the next week or so pondering my own colourful design for my current WiP. At the moment I’ve just got a dodgy gif which I used as a experiment which didnt turn out anywhere near as nice as I would have liked it. When I was thinking up this project it was suggested to me that I should think about ‘War paint’ and that it would give me a greater range of colours and am still considering doing so. Basically the approuch I want to be taking is painting the tattoo’s (or warpaint I have not made a final decision yet) straight onto the texture and the last thing I want to be doing is something like ‘make them too black’. What I might do, if you guys are keen to give me some constructive crit is post up a bit of progress in this thread when I’ve started the tat’s so you guys can comment.

Thanks again,



Yeah go ahead and post something when you have something to show.


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