To launch the seventh season of its successful reality-competition series, “Ink Master,” Spike turned to 2C Creative (“2C”) for a stand-out promo campaign. The network wanted a new, visually engaging way to drive excitement for a familiar fan-favorite, something that had never been seen before. Season 7 of “Ink Master,” hosted by musician, filmmaker and artist Dave Navarro and judged by tattoo icons Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck, premieres on March 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Watch the promo HERE.

The concept imagined going into the blood of the artists to see that tattooing and ink were really a part of their physical being. Once inside, ink streams would appear, collide, reveal and erase the competing artists and celebrity judges. More than a transitional device, the ink would also be a character that showed attitude, aggression and personality.

“We really wanted to push the boundaries for how the familiar genre of tattoo shows is promoted, and it needed to be something entirely fresh and groundbreaking,” said 2C Creative Director, Brian Eloe. “From the beginning, Spike really challenged us to create something never seen before, which also took a huge leap of faith on Spike’s part since we couldn’t fully demonstrate what it would look like upfront.” 

Everyone involved wanted a level of organic magic that could only come from capturing these elements in camera. In light of that, 2C opted for a practical shoot in lieu of CG for creating ink elements.  Adding to the challenge of execution, shooting the artist portraits would have to take place as part of a larger ”Ink Master” promotional shoot. In that format, 2C would only have about 30 minutes with each artist to get special performances and attitudes unique to that character that would then be used to create a custom ink element to match.  Things like hair color, wardrobe colors, body movements and attitudes would all be characteristics used to plan the ink effects shoot.    

2C worked closely with VFX guru and Cinematographer Chris Webb and VFX Ink Specialist Makoto Aoki to create an animatic of performance selects that would help narrow the shot list and inform the planning of the ink days.  Shooting the intricate ink simulations instead of generating them in CG meant limiting the amount of carefully executed experiments.  Even after all the meticulous planning, the real magic started once the ink was injected into the tank.  As predicted, the team got spectacular organic results while manipulating the velocity, colors, cloud intensity and deflections.

“When we saw the natural movements of the ink and the secondary offshoot surprises, we realized we never would have imagined that in a CG simulation,” said Design Director Luis Martinez. “We were absolutely getting the real organic results we dreamed of and the color mix was indescribable.”

In post came the arduous job of linking the ”Ink Master” talent portraits and ink shoot elements together, a process that took many weeks in post of keying, masking and roto-scoping to get the seamless blend 2C wanted. To enhance the composites, nuances of atmosphere—ECU shots of tattoos from the actual artists, special color grading, particle sparks and light flare overlays—were added, the end goal to make each frame a work of art.

“With a focus on incredible art and great characters, Spike’s ‘Ink Master’ has become a cultural phenomenon with ratings increasing each season,” said Spike’s SVP, Brand Creative Terry Minogue. “For the launch of ‘Ink Master: Revenge,’ Spike wanted to bring the outstanding art into the campaign itself. Working with the team at 2C was a collaborative process and the attention to detail throughout is evident in this beautiful creative.”

In all, 2C delivered one 30-second promo, as well as 20- and 15-second cut-downs and a complete graphic tool kit for use in the episodics throughout the season.

About Ink Master
“Ink Master” ( is Spike’s hit original reality-competition series where talented artists from around the country battle it out in permanent ink for a $100,000 grand prize and the bragging rights title of ‘Ink Master.’  Each week artists are put through a series of tattoo challeneges that are not only designed to test their technical skills, but also their creativity.  The masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime, but so will their mistakes.  Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing and after every challenge, the contestants face a tough panel made up of musician, filmmaker and artist Dave Navarro, as well as world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez (“Miami Ink”) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) where at least one artist is sent home.

About Spike
Spike TV is available in 91.4 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV's Internet address is and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV's press site at  Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

About 2C Creative
2C Creative is an award-winning creative agency and content production company. 2C’s creative + content = award-winning promos, brand integrations, live-action shoots, design & original series for TV networks, studios and national advertisers. The company’s promotion and design clients include, among many others, such notable brands as FOX, HBO, TNT, Discovery Channel, Velocity, FXX, Oxygen, Science Channel, Nickelodeon, Optimum, 20th Television and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. 2C’s passionate creative team, which has earned 22 coveted PromaxBDA Awards in the past five years alone, comprises some of the nation’s top talent from film, television, advertising and design. For more information, please visit: