Last night I got through Reel 4 (Sarlacc Battle). I’m much more free with the count, so several shots have 3 images associated. I noticed that about half of the Rancor recomposites done in 2004 actually start the live action plate 2 frames earlier or later than the original edit. The Rancor movement and the edit is exactly the same, but it’s technically over different footage of Luke or the guard.
Thanks to a discussion I had with Terrence Masson (one of the Senior Technical Directors for the SE, who oversaw the Sarlacc Battle), I’ve been able to identify more recomposites and now can tell the first shot in the Star Wars Saga with a CG lightsaber (it’s during Luke’s “Force Kick”). If there was a recomposite in the battle, any blaster fire or lightsaber in that shot was recreated in CG instead of finding the original elements, though I still feel like some shots where they just added the beak to a fully live action shot with effects don’t have any recompositing, just inserted the beak into the original final. It’s only if a film element like a skiff or Boba Fett or a matte painting was recomposited.
It’s a lot of fun to just focus on one movie (since it’s the only one “complete” by TN1). I’m reading the Rinzler book and just absorbing as much as I can about RotJ.