I have an oval and I want the radial gradient to be even (if that even makes sense). Is it possible to do this? And if so, how would I go about so?
I'm not sure if radial gradients will conform to the shape that they are in. For example what if you made a radial gradient in a star. However one thing you could try is to make a Circle, put a radial gradient in that so it conforms to the circle. Then break the object apart and group all of the contents that are individual pieces of geometry from the gradient and then bend that into an ellipse. See if that works. It's just a thought as I have not tried it or troubleshot myself.
Yes there is no reason a radial gradient has to describe a circle. Unless you mean something else by "skew."
Use the Gradient Transform Tool to select your filled object. You will get handles to scale, rotate, and size the graident.
Here's a way to do it in Illustrator:
I wanted to try this technique in Flash but I can't launch the application at present. Maybe I'll try from my secondary computer.
I just got Flash to launch and I have discovered there is a roundabout way of doing the same thing. It involves the timeline and converting a Motion Tween or Classic Tween into a FrameByFrame Animation or Converting Tween to Keyframes, respectively.
Create a star shape of reasonable size on the stage in a solid color that is easy to identify. Create a symbol out of it. Create about 30 frames of it on the timeline as a single frame that extends from 1 to 30. Convert this 30 frame range to a motion tween or if you know how to make a classic tween from this point forth do that instead.
The last frame will be the same symbol with a blending mode applied where you have placed a Tint of a different color to the symbol.
Then convert this motion tween or classic tween into individual keyframes.
This is the part where I get stuck. Normally you should be able to distribute all of the frames to individual layers but since they are the same symbol it only takes one frame and places it on a new layer. So you have all of your individual keyframes but you would have to manually drag them into place on top of each other. The only other idea I have that i just thought of is somehow manipulating the Movie Clip symbol into a Graphic that spans 30 frames within one frame so that all 30 individual frames display simultaneously at a given frame. This is a theory that I don't think will work but there has to be an easy way to distribute the layers of a blend to individual frames and layers that can reside on top of one another.
There aren't any easy way that I know to conform to a random polygon.
There is the old-school trick of selecting a shape and Modify > Shape > Soften Fill Edges. And then either insetting or expanding. It is fairly limited, but it can be pretty useful. It is how I used to make drop shadows in the days before filters.