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5 Reasons to Start Using Kessler’s kOS

Posted by Andrew Collings on

I know you think you’re pretty slick, using your Kessler Second Shooter Plus to get those sweet, sweet moco (motion control) shots. Your clients love it, your production quality jumped up three notches, and you’ve got the best party trick in town.

But the truth is, you haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. Enter kOS (chaos), Kessler’s high-powered motion control operating system. Originally developed as the software component used to power the CineDrive motion control system, kOS has been continuously refined since its inception and is now available for both CineDrive and Second Shooter. Here’s 5 reasons why you need to start using kOS today.

1. kOS Has Oodles of Keyframes!

With the standard control panel, you’re stuck using 2, maybe 3 keyframes. That poor little controller doesn’t have much memory. That’s about all it can handle! But an iPad? Well, that has plenty enough room for all of your keyframes.

So many keyframes!

With an unending stream of keyframes at your fingertips, you can of course do all sorts of intricate moves that were previously impossible. What’s less obvious is that you can also string out longer and longer sequences of actions, potentially mapping out a whole event over 20 minutes, 30 minutes.

2. kOS’s Remote Control

Using the Second Shooter Plus means you can already cut one guy out of your crew (literally your second shooter), and replace it with a Kessler-brand robot. That sounds real efficient, but if your talent moves around and steps off their mark, your keyframes are suddenly all wrong. You’ve gotta put down your A-camera, walk over and fiddle with the controller, walk back and try to pick up where you just were. Not so efficient now, is it?

kOS lets you skip all that mess, because you can just have your iPad or laptop handy. But more than that, it is a thousand times easier to fiddle with keyframes. Slide them around the timeline, add a new one with a quick tap, or adjust speed ramping at will. Your talent won’t even know it happened!

3. kOS Audio Sync

Shooting music videos can be a pain sometimes. And that pain grows exponentially when you’re trying to match an automated system (like the Second Shooter Plus hint hint) to a song. The chorus starts at 48 seconds in, and goes for the next 35 and a half seconds before dropping back into a 9-second bridge….. How are you supposed to match your motion control to that?

Like this!

In kOS, you can just slide the song in underneath your timeline and visually match keyframes to song moments. No more timing it by ear, waiting for the moment to hit, and having to drop a keyframe with perfect reflexes. It’s all right there in front of you to time, retime, and perfect.

4. Fine Control Over Manual Moves

All this programming and keyframing is nice, but sometimes you get caught in a situation where you just have to get some movement on the fly.

The Second Shooter Plus controller is all just buttons. Those buttons have two states of existence: “slide/pan/tilt right now!” and “off.” That’s not terribly smooth, and it certainly doesn’t look professional. There’s no acceleration control, no room for subtlety. Enter kOS.

The further you pull the slider, the more it accelerates. Release, and it eases down to a stop. It’s like a digital joystick, with all the nuance and control that you’ve been missing. Don’t worry, it wouldn’t leave you out in the cold. It’s been waiting for you on kOS this whole time.

5. Showing Off Your Mastery of Complex Technology - Minus the Hard Work

The best part of Kessler’s kOS is that it’s surprisingly easy to learn. At first it might seem like a mess of buttons, sliders, and strange menus, and there are certainly a lot of hidden features if you want to dig. But like everything Kessler does, it is surprisingly clearly labeled and logically laid out.

The basic workflow is a piece of cake: once you set the extreme ends of either axis (“calibration”), then you can just start dropping keyframes and sliding all around like nobody’s business.

So show off to your less tech-savvy friends! Explain nothing, change settings quickly and decisively, and when they ask what that button over there is for, make sure to wave them off with a line like “that’s for more advanced moves, don’t worry about it.” You’ll be the hero of the night, because YOU, my good (wo)man, know why we use kOS.

Rent Kessler Second Shooter & Download kOS

Eager to give kOS a try but don’t have a Second Shooter? Fear not. Deck Hand Camera Rentals offers Kessler Second Shooter rentals near Los Angeles and will ship nationwide for an additional fee. You can download kOS for Second Shooter at The lite version is free, or you can try the premium version for 30 days.

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