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Use PPro to get to Encore then create your Menu in Encore.
After Effects would be appropriate for creating DVD motion menus. It is my favorite tool, but not for making menus. Save it for later and use Encore.
After Effects is for composite work. Motion, masks, mattes, layer
blending, stuff like that. If you were wanting to do some motion effects
on the DVD menus, then you might use AE. Word of warning though. Because
its such a powerful program, allowing one to control massive amounts of
detail, it has a fairly steep learning curve to even get off the
As Raymond encourages, do not use After Effects unless you find you need it for motion menus. You won't know this until you have made some menus. Get your feet wet in Encore.
Encore does have tools for creating menus. However, I prefer (most of us prefer?) to start with an Encore preset menu (then later one of our old ones), then select the "Edit in Photoshop" option to modify. This helps you see what the layer structure/naming is that makes it all work.
Try it out in a test project. Search for any issues in the Encore forums, then ask for help there.