How can I get a top-down,side view of the model imported into XNA and then save that view as an image, that can be used later in the program?
Thank you for your time
Set a RenderTarget on your application; this will set the scene for saving and loading that texture data later in the application life cycle.
You're going to want to render your model and scene exactly as you want to on the default RenderTarget and then make sure nothing else is rendered on that RenderTarget. After this is done for a single pose you can call SaveAsPNG from Texture2D (RenderTarget is inherited from this). After this is done, just load up the image into a Texture or alternatively just cache that Texture2D somewhere for later use instead of saving it.
Hope this helps!