Introducing distortions into perspective views is a popular technique to direct our visual attention to specific objects, as seen in hand-drawn illustrations and cartoon animations. This type of image expression, called nonperspective projection, is feasible in visual communication, because the human visual system can reconstruct the target three-dimensional (3D) scene correctly provided that the corresponding image distortions are within a certain perceptual tolerance. In this paper, we develop a perceptual approach to guiding the design of such nonperspective images by referring to the 3D perception induced by pictorial depth cues. We formulate an acceptable tolerance by investigating how we perceive image distortion according to the change in the configuration of depth cues. The obtained formulation is then incorporated into our new algorithm, with which we can automatically control plausible image deformation by simply modifying the positions and sizes of specific objects in a scene.