Fine art is all the rage in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Last week, players of Nintendo’s adaptation of Animal Farm were introduced to an in-game art dealer (in the form of a somewhat fraudulent fox). And in the real world, museums are transforming art from their collections into New Horizons designs.
But true connoisseurs know that the world’s finest art isn’t some suprematist composition or Seurat canvas. Rather, it’s that poorly lit photo of your cat poking his dumb little head out of a washing machine. Exhibit A:
Who wouldn’t want that—or something like it—hanging on the walls of their Nook-issued bungalow? Well, as series superfans can attest, it’s not just possible to turn your camera roll photos into New Horizons designs. It’s extremely easy. All you have to do is make full use of the Animal Crossing Pattern Tool browser app.
Nook Link is yet another Nook Phone app that grants the Nook empire some Bezos-like control over New Horizons.
You’ll need the Nintendo Switch Online app for either Android or iPhone. Once you’ve downloaded it, sign into your account, and then close the app. Then fire up New Horizons. At the title screen, open up your settings (by pressing the minus button). Select “NookLink Settings” and turn on NookLink. That should connect your IRL phone app with your in-game Nook Phone app.
First, find a photo you want to convert. For purposes of this exercise, let’s use the above picture of my cat, Puck, believing with all of his heart that he is a load of laundry. Once you find the picture you want, crop it into a square. Trust me: Things are easier this way. From there, crop the photo again into smaller squares, all the same size. Otherwise, your end result will look somewhat like this:
You can do better than that. It’ll depend on the quality of your photo, so you might have to play around with how many squares you break your photo into and how small you make them. I found (relative) success by breaking Puck’s picture into four smaller squares sized at 200 pixels wide.
Once you have your selected crops, open up Animal Crossing Pattern Tool and go to the Editor section. Then hit “convert” and select the first square quadrant you want to convert. It should pop up, and you’ll see two sliders for “patterns wide” and “patterns tall.” Don’t mess with those. Just hit the “Next” button.
On the next page you’ll see a bunch of various image options, including pixel quality and, for some reason, a sepia setting. (What is this, a mid-2000s iPhoto Master Class?) Feel free to mess with them—or don’t. These options don’t really do much. When you’re done, hit the “Convert!” button. You should see the pattern transposed as an extremely close-up, pixelated state. Hit the “Generate QR code” button at the bottom. Save the image that pops up, and then repeat the process for all of the squares you made earlier.
First, on your Nintendo Switch Online app, direct yourself to the Animal Crossing: New Horizons section. Open the Designs “app” and hit the “Scan a QR code” button. Scan one of the codes you generated.
Back in New Horizons, open up the Custom Designs app on your Nook Phone. Hit “download” (the plus button) and you’ll be prompted to connect to the internet. Doing so will import the design associated with whatever QR code you most recently scanned. After that, it’s only a matter of choosing an empty design pattern and confirming the download.
Since this is Animal Crossing—meaning nothing can just be simple—you’ll have to repeat the following process for every individual QR code you just generated.
After all of your designs make it into your Nook Phone, you can start creating your very own, painfully adorable gallery wall.
In your home, walk up to the wall you want to decorate. (If you’re too far away, the game won’t let you hang stuff up.) Open up your Custom Designs app and select the design you want to hang. Hit “display here” and choose the “canvas” option. After you’ve hung up all of your squares, go into the customization mode (down on the D-pad) and enter wall-editing mode (the plus button). Rearrange your designs as you see fit.
If that’s not better than a Seurat, I don’t know what is.